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wor 



aeaCer /D stair 



Holly Brims, Steev Custer, Chris Derrick, Maria Mellinger, Dawn Simmons, 

John Stobart, Virginia Strouse 






In order to get a selection published in this issue, four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the 

award winners, only John Stobart is responsible. 



Manuscripts or cover designs for 



AeaZer /O 



wordeacer 

must be submitted to John Stobart 
in room C-1069 by : 

APRIL 26, 1991 

Manuscripts will not be returned and 
SHOULD BE TYPED. 



^^^gggg^^gg^ ^^^SSg^^ 



ss^ 



AWARDS 




PROSE— $5 Each to: 
Steev Custer 
Maria Mellinger 
Shane Van Veghel 

POETRY— $5 Each to: 

Lora Baker 

Holly Bruns 

Jeff Hicks 

Bethany Jackson 

Eric Jensen 

Maria Mellinger 

Donica Rampa 

COVERS— $10 Each to: 
Steev Custer (Back) 
Janis Fabris (Front) 



1 






All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials may not be reprinted without their permission. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Maria Mellingcr The Smell of Patchouli Oil ii 

Jeff DeGrave Spanish Haiku Trilogy ii 

Maria Mellinger Try To Remember ii 

Maria Mellinger You Ask Me What I'm Thinking 1 

Jeff DeGrave You Not Make Fun Of 1 

Maria Mellinger I Wrote A Poem 1 

Maria Mellinger The Night Kissed Me 1 

Maria Mellinger I Have A Bruise 1 

Holly Bruns Has Anybody Seen My Neurons? 1 

Connie Legters The Victim 3 

Holly Bruns No Wonder I'm Nuts 4 

Maria Mellinger After You Had Gone 4 

Maria Mellinger When We Held A Funeral 4 

Maria Mellinger But You Know That Already 5 

Jeff DeGrave This Is the American Upgrade 5 

Maria Mellinger We'll Just Write To Each Other 5 



NOTE: The preceding were accepted for WORDEATER 74 but space 

limitations prevented their being printed in that issue. 



Lora Baker 


Memories of You 


5 


Steev Custer 


Will U Ever Know? 


5 


Dawn Simmons 


Wish You Were Here 


5 


Bethany Jackson 


Not Unlike 


5 


Jameson S. Turner 


Stranded 


6 


Maria Mellinger 


If I Made A Chain of Daisies 


6 


Nicole L. Bymside 


Let Go 


6 


David Tieman 


The Summer Spoke 


6 


Maria Mellinger 


Your Little Tinman 


6 


Judy Belfield 


Another Year In A Day 


6 


Sue' Cherven 


Nemesis II 


7 


Dawn Simmons 


Headlights 


7 


Maria Mellinger 


It Took A Long Time 


7 


Frank Sanchez 


Almost 


7 


Carol Spinabella 


Head '0' Air 


7 


Maria Mellinger 


Like A Ghost 


7 


Steev Custer 


Word Processor Love 


7 


Terry Rogers 


Any Weekday Night 


8 


Maria Mellinger 


You Have Wrapped Yourself 


8 


Donica Rampa 


Kiss? 


8 


Tina M. Plunk 


The Gift of Wings 


8 


Maria Mellinger 


The Ugly Girls At the Party 


8 


Martin Nieznanski 


Azathoth 


8 


Bethany Jackson 


Heaven Sent 


9 


Eric Jensen 


Another Proverb 


9 


Dawn Mooney 


Turning Up the Volume 


9 


Lisa Bucciarelli 


On Life 


9 


Maria Mellinger 


Cold Air 


9 


Judy Belfield 


Embroideries 


9 


Jeff DeGrave 


A Paradoxical Goodbye 


9 


Maria Mellinger 


It's Always So Early 


10 


Chris Derrick 


Memories of Green 


10 


Maria Mellinger 


Independence 


10 


Jeff Hicks 


Questions of Night 


10 


Holly Bruns 


Verbal Metamorphosis 


10 



Maria Mellinger 
Shane Van Veghel 
Jeffrey Michael B 
Maria Mellinger 
Maria Mellinger 
Steev Custer 
Maria Mellinger 
Holly Bruns 
Lora Baker 
David Tieman 
Jameson Turner 
Jeff Hicks 
Judy Belfield 
Dawn Simmons 
Sailor 

Jeffrey Michael B 
Maria Mellinger 
Frank Sanchez 
Maria Mellinger 
Connie Legters 
Donica Rampa 
Maria Mellinger 
Terry Rogers 
Eric Jensen 
Jeff DeGrave 
Dawn Mooney 
Maria Mellinger 
Nicole L. Bymside 
Lisa Bucciarelli 
Bethany Jackson 
Chris Derrick 
Martin Nieznanski 
Maria Mellinger 
Dawn Simmons 
Lora Baker 
Steev Custer 
Maria Mellinger 
Lisa Bucciarelli 
Maria Mellinger 
Frank Sanchez 
Jeff Hicks 
Tina M. Plunk 
Eric Jensen 
Judy Belfield 
Steev Custer 
Maria Mellinger 
Shane Van Veghel 
Bethany Jackson 
David Tieman 
Steev Custer 
Jameson Turner 
Martin Nieznanski 
Nicole L. Bymside 
Maria Mellinger 
Judy Belfield 
Holly Bruns 



Devils Are Winds 
The Tree Seemed To Glow 
Longing In Your Hollow 
You Once Asked Me 



11 
11 
11 
12 



Earth Day, 1990/Central Park, NYC 12 

Fluorescent Heavens 

A Simple Tale 

Starvation 

Lately My Life 

The Fourth of July That Moved 

Bleeding Society 

Nonsense 

Loss of Faith 

Perhaps 

Let Them Dream 

Untitled 

Visitation Rights 

Eyelens 

You Capture My Attention 

Murmurs 

Listen Up 

My City Is Still 

Je Jove Les Tambours Pour ' Vous ' 

Frostbite 

I Must Apologize 

With You 

The Old Inventor 

Against Time 

A Lie Is Like 

The Hidden Within 

Horrorshow 

Mandella 

How, Exactly 

To Jay 

Heavy Metal Music 

Hand Written Poem 2 

Your Eyes 

I Once Knew A Boy 

Winona, Minnesota 

Call of Winter 

Silent Wagon 

He Played Summer 

Companions 

Paralysis 

Cracked 

Sture, Birgitta, and Nick Rhodes 

Meretz Was Tired of Standing 

Beautiful Suicide 

Smoking Syndrome 

Accompaniment: Key of C in Thirds 

The Three-Legged Journeyman 

Strange 

A Recipe For War 

The Poetry Prize 

Summation 

Cocktail Party Conversations 



12 

13 

13 

15 

16 

16 

16 

16 

16 

17 

17 

17 

17 

18 

18 

18 

18 

18 

18 

19 

19 

19 

19 

19 

20 

20 

20 

20 

20 



22 



23 
24 
25 
25 
25 
26 
26. 
26 
26 

27 



(continued on next page ) 



Wordeater 75 



Spnng, 1991 



TABLE OF CONTENTS, continued 



Maria Mellinger 
Frank Sanchez 
Terry Rogers 
Jeffrey Michael B 
Maria Mellinger 
Jeff DeGrave 
Bethany Jackson 
Maria Mellinger 
David Tieman 
Dawn Mooney 
Holly Bruns 
Donica Rampa 
Martin Nieznanski 
Terry Rogers 
Jeff Hicks 
Tina M. Plunk 
Maria Mellinger 
Holly Bruns 
Eric Jensen 
Chris Derrick 
Dawn Mooney 
Jeff Hicks 
Steev Custer 
Jeff DeGrave 
Maria Mellinger 
Steev Custer 
David Tieman 
Donica Rampa 
Maria Mellinger 
Martin Nieznanski 
David Tieman 
David Tieman 
Dawn Simmons 
Eric Jensen 
Maria Mellinger 
Jeffrey Michael B 
Donica Rampa 
Dawn Simmons 
Steev Custer 
Holly Bruns 
David Tieman 
Holly Bruns 
Holly Bruns 
David Tieman 
Eric Jensen 
Steev Custer 
Jeff DeGrave 

Jeff Hicks 
Bethany Jackson 
David Tieman 



My Little Sawdust Heart 27 

The Matter of Me .27 

Dream Outback 27 

Credo (Cities In Dust) 28 

I Try To Remember Our Past 28 

My Friend Seine 28 

700 Ways To Die 29 

My Young Friend 29 

Untitled 29 

Isn't It Strange 29 

Winter Blahs 29 

Gone 29 

Brainwashed 30 

September 1988 30 

Child's Play 30 

Going East On Interstate 80 30 
Somewhere Off of County Line Road 30 

Hidden In A Plastic Groove 30 

A Solitary Shadow 3 1 

I Still Believe 31 

Mementos Left Astray 3 1 

Technicolor Silence 31 

Punk Rock Love Poem 3 1 

There's That Big, Black Trunk 32 

You Were Such A Pretty Boy 32 

If I Could Only Say Hello 3 2 

Lottery Loser 32 

Bubble-Gum Pink 32 

He Loaded Up His Six Guns 32 

The Dream Catcher 33 

I 33 

The Candy Store 33 

Dear Abby 33 

Inward Formlessness 33 

He Coughed Up Intelligence 33 

Bekrives (Selected Verses) 34 

Cold Fire 34 

Red Leaf 34 

Calamity 34 

Synthetic Tomb 35 

She's Got the Blues 35 
Am I Ersatz Dragon, Or Is It You? 3 5 

Little Brown Baby 36 

Bubbles 36 

Unconscious Tomorrow 36 

I Remember Home... 36 
Why Would A Man Climb A 

Mountain? 36 

Dance 37 
Alone With Him (The Black Rose) 37 

Nothing 37 



Maria Mellinger 



THE SMELL OF PATCHOULI OIL 



The smell 
of patchouli oil 
on your sweater 
that I was wearing, 
The smell of the bonfire 
(the backyard Indians, 
You called us), 
The smell of fear — 
because you were 
sitting so close to me 
And we're not supposed 
To fall in love... 
This is what 
Friendship smells like? 



NOTE: Again, space has prevented the appearance of all items 
accepted for this issue. Look for work by Holly Bruns, Steev Custer, 
Jeff Hicks, Maria Mellinger, and Martin Nieznanski in WORDEATER 76. 

Wordeater 75 



« « « « » » » » 



Jeff DeGrave 
SPANISH HAIKU TRILOGY 



Este haiku es 

para los hispanicos 

en esta clase 

(The next haiku has 
been created to translate 
the previous one) 

This haiku goes out 
to all of the hispanic 
people in this class 



« « « « » » » » 



Maria Mellinger 
TRY TO REMEMBER 



Try to remember 

A grade school field trip. 

Sitting next to the first 

Real person who actually said, 

"I like you," 

The bus accidentally 

Bumping you into each other. 

Now that was touching. 

That was love. 

And the only pressure 

Was that of the teacher's eyes 

Separating the two of you. 



««««»»»» 



Spnng, 1991 



Maria Mellinger 

YOU ASK ME WHAT I'M THINKING 

You ask me what I'm thinking and I reply, 

"Little things," like. 

What kind of dog will we buy 

How will I ever move my things out of my parents' house 

What will we do with our duplicate albums. 

You ask me what I'm thinking and I think. 

Anything to forget how little 

Is the time that we have. 

« « « « » » » » 

Jeff DeGrave 

YOU NOT MAKE FUN OF 

You not make fun of 
Oliental poetly. 
Vely selious! 



Maria Mellinger 
THE NIGHT KISSED ME 



« « « « » » » » 



Maria Mellinger 

I WROTE A POEM 

I wrote a poem, 

and rather than read it 

and knit my words 

into a cloak for you to wear, 

you asked 

who and why and where. 

Very well. 

Allow me to explain. 

Poetry is all about 

a man named Bob 

who lives in Albuquerque 

because of the economic opportunities 

available there. 

He likes football, beef jerky, and 

white Jockey shorts 

line-dried and ironed after washing. 

He watches 10 hours of television daily, 

drinks Old Style, 

and takes perverted pleasure 

in the way his big toe 

pokes out of his old wool socks. 

And that's just the beginning... 

Now I hope you can enjoy my poems, 

knowing the inspiration 

behind each of them. 

And I hope you can keep warm 

In this literary winter without a cloak. 

Now that the mystery 

has unraveled. 



The night kissed me 

with his 

needle sharp mosquito 

tongue, 

draining me of 

my blood 

and my love, 

leaving me 

dry and empty 

by dawn. 



««««»»»» 



««««»»»» 



Worde»ter 75 



Maria Mellinger 

I HAVE A BRUISE 

I have a bruise 

From the last time we spoke, 

Or rather, 

Screamed. 

When it was new it was like a mistake, 

A funny glove on my flesh, 

Part of a Halloween costume 

I couldn't peel off. 

When it turned blue I though of your face 

And how I couldn't see your eyes, 

Only a hand coming towards me; 

But your eyes were probably black at that moment, 

Buried in our argument 

Or burnt 

With lies. 

And now as the bruise fades, 

You fade. 

Each day the skin beneath is 

Less sensitive to your touch 

And soon it will b healed. 

Holly Bruns 

HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY NEURONS? 

Frequently, I wonder how certain ideas or thoughts 
or pieces of knowledge can float around in a person's 
head and never connect themselves to each other to form 
something different, enlighten the owner of the contents, 
or just plain fall into place to make sense out of some- 
thing that has never made sense. Like timid little 

(continued) 

l Spnng, 1991 



Has Anybody Seen My Neurons? continued 

neuron spiders, they cling to the attics and crawl spaces 
in a brain. 

I know that my own neurons are playing this hide- 
and-seek game with me. I'd have them flogged if I could 
find them and put my hands on them. Or would I? 
Perhaps, if I could find them, it would be better to give 
them lots of positive reinforcement, warm fuzzies, and 
forgiveness for dodging me. Maybe they don't realize 
they're torturing me. It could be that they truly are only 
playing, and I just don't know how to play along. 
Stodgy mistress of neuron estate, and my lively, cre- 
ative subjects are unable to approach me. 

My limited thinking is correct, it hasn't always 
been like this. I believe at one time in my life I played 
along and knew the game quite well. As a child, I knew 
trees that spoke, and ghosts that lived in the bomb shel- 
ter my dad made under the basement stairs. These ghosts 
drank Kool-Aid and feasted on Tinker Toy/Lincoln Log 
stew. I was sure that my cereal pieces belonged in fami- 
ly groups with parents and siblings. I always swallowed 
at least three pieces of cereal at once, but more often I 
swallowed them in groups of five. Most families con- 
sisted of five members, I remember thinking, just like 
mine. They had to be swallowed together so none of 
them would die alone. It made perfect sense to me and 
my loyal neuron subjects quite agreed and readily played 
along. 

I could fly back then. Although I had never been in 
an airplane before, I knew exactly what the earth looked 
like from three-thousand feet. I knew what it felt like to 
float on a cool easy breeze, just below the clouds. I had 
even mastered powerful take-offs and graceful landings. I 
landed in very interesting places at will. 

Once, I landed at this Akron City Zoo and was im- 
mediately eaten by a black, woolly, grizzly bear. The 
on-lookers and by-standers were flabbergasted. I watched 
them tremble and stare with their mouths wide open and 
their eyes panicky. I made these observations while 
carelessly moving back and forth on the swing connected 
to the bear's uvula (that's that little thing that hangs 
down in the back of the throat). I was swinging and 
humming a song, watching the watchers watching the 
bear to see what he'd do next. I could see them through 
a one-way mirror conveniently installed in the bear's 
neck. At one point, my mother was a watcher. Crying 
convulsively, she called my name and reached through 
the bars of the cage as if she could somehow pull me 
back. Maybe, I thought, she should have been paying 
me more attention and this might not have happened. I 
wasn't worried. I knew I'd pass through the huge grizzly 
and see the light of day again just like that nickel my 

Worduter 75 



sister swallowed. The nickel was found a day or two 
later by Mom, the newly appointed poop inspector. I 
figured if Mom was patient, she'd find me too, in a day 
or two. I wanted to yell out, "Just hang on, Mom. I';; 
be sitting on the cold concrete floor in a couple of days 
and you can take me home and polish me up in the bath- 
tub and give me lots of attention and Fig Newton cook- 
ies." But she left too soon, thinking I had been chewed 
to bits, never to be seen again. My mom was just too 
impatient and fatalistic. Or was that my dad? I get the 
two mixed up at times. 

I guess it didn't matter to me then. I just waited to 
be expelled and flew somewhere else. Five years old and 
always on a synaptic creative mission in the land of un- 
restrained imagination. 

I do know that it was my mother who was positive- 
ly put out when she found our assortment of Tinker 
Toys and Lincoln Logs floating in a bucket of water. I 
vaguely remember her reaction. 
"What is this?" 

"I don't know." I didn't want to tell her it was stew 
for a ghost. 

"What do you mean you don't know? Do you know 
how much money I spent on those things? You've ru- 
ined them! They will never fit together again after this. 
And what's this?" She walked toward the litde wooden 
table and chairs. The table was turned over so it sat on 
its top so I could get inside and go boating on the open 
seas. The result of all the wind and waves had caused the 
top of the little wooden table to change from a flat sur- 
face to a nicely rounded surface. It was perfect for sail- 
ing. 

I didn't respond to her question. She was getting 
pretty hostile at that point. 

"Answer me! What are you doing with this table?" 
"I was using it for a boat." 

"Jesus Christ!" I know she said 'Jesus Christ' be- 
cause that's what she said when she was really disgusted. 
"Clean this mess up right now." 

So much for that. A table is a table is a table. And 
the same goes for Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. I 
don't think I ever played with Tinker Toys or Lincoln 
Logs after that. They -just weren't as much fun when 
used the 'right way.' 

I forgot how to fly long before I was ten. I can't re- 
member any singular event that snapped the heavy-duty 
Master padlock on my mental castle door. Probably a 
combination of things. At school, bears were brown, 
not purple, and people had five fingers on each hand, not 
three. Adults filled with lots of common sense encour- 
aged the litde folks like me to put two and two together 
and come up with four instead of "a jillion." I just woke 

(continued) 

2 . Spring. 1991 



Has Anybody Seen My Neurons? continued 



up one day in my twenties and realized I'd forgotten how 
to play. I bought my rights to adulthood and paid dearly 
for them with my imagination. 

Now I wonder if I can change my mind. Drive 
down to the rat- and cockroach-infested pawn shop and 
trade something else to get my imagination and creatvity 
back. I hear a few bold neurons saying "GO FOR IT!" 
But I don't know what to bargain with. The pawn shop 
owners are mean, greedy mothers. They'll want one of 
my children or my self-respect or the movement of my 
body from the neck down. Maybe the selfish bastards 
would settle for all my worldly belongings and my abili- 
ty to earn a living. 

Maybe someone else has already bought it and I 
couldn't get it back anyway. 

But wait! I've been musing aloud here in the land 
of neurons (or is it the land of neuroses? Mother, are 
you in here too?) The neurons are telling me it's not 
too late. They say, "Forget the old game. We have de- 
veloped a NEW game and you'll like it better." 

They've sent a whipping boy to deliver the bad 
news, however. The boy says, "Excuse me, mistress. 
You will like the game once you've learned it, but the 
rules are VERY complicated and it will take years to 
master them. Perhaps," he says, "more years than you 
have left." Shall I have the whipping boy lashed? 

Well, I have something to say to this whipping 
boy. This brave soul who comes forward to deliver the 
blow of bad news. 

Hew, Whipping Boy! Where do I start?" 

"Maybe you could start with a creative writing 
course," he answers. 

Hramm...put down the whip. Give that whipping 
boy a bath and a Fig Newton. 

Connie Legters 

THE VICTIM 

The details 

of grit and gore of death, 

I can supply. 

I have it inside 

where I stuff pain. 

Let me present 

the shell of a man's life 

washed away 

in a rush of madness. 

Wordeater 75 



He never knew the joy 

evading his reach. 

False starts fell short, 

and consequences were avoided. 

When it became too much, 

my brother withdrew 

into the world of wards and patients 

much like himself. 

While he was there, 

he wished not to be. 

Coming home, 

loved ones encouraged, 

and tried hard to help 

place him near recovery, 

getting closer than he could stand. 

My brother withdrew again and again, 

until we gave up hope, 

and he gave up us. 

The desire to locate 

his strength of mind, somewhere, 

took him away from family love 

into cities full of hiding places. 

He called occasionally, 

and came for bare, brief visits. 

Yes, my brother had begun 

to die his death, 

even then. 

Our last visit was good. 

We laughed 

and took pictures 

of siblings lovingly embraced. 

We counted his pills...so many. 

Doctors help in the ways they can. 

Then we let him return 

to his live outside ours. 

There he died, 

his pills within arms' reach, 

and my phone number beside his bed. 

The anger stays 
that life took him from us, 
but recognition of futility 
mutes the pain. 



««««»»»» 



Spring, 1991 



Holly Bruns 

NO WONDER I'M NUTS! 

I was raised on Dr. Suess. 
My mother put him in my juice. 
She tucked me in with him at night, 
I woke with him at morning light. 

The "Cat in the Hat" was my favorite friend, 
We traveled together, we're friends to the end. 
We traveled to places like "Herk-Heimer Falls," 
Where "Stilt Walker" stilts were lining the walls. 
We met many creatures, silly and weird, 
The Cat in the Hat found one in his beard. 

We feasted on tidbits like "Green Eggs and Ham," 
and toast with a coating of pickle juice jam. 
When I was in trouble, I blamed it on Grinch, 
My mother said "liar" and gave me a pinch. 

I played in my room with "Collapsible Frink," 
But he collapsed once too often and started to stink, 
So I gave him a bath in Mom's kitchen sink 
and scrubbed him so hard his green became pink. 
"The Cat in the Hat" said the Frink was a fink, 
and didn't deserve a bath in the sink, 
and beat the Frink senseless, quick as a wink, 
I think the Cat's jealous. What do you think? 

On my birthday I went to the land of "Katroo," 

with the "Birthday Honk-Honker," what else could I do? 

The trip was a gift, a birthday donation, 

From the "Katroo Happy Birthday Asso-see-eye-ation." 

You wouldn't believe my mom's irritation, 

When I didn't show up for her planned celebration, 

To blow out the candles or eat cake decoration. 

But I said to my mom, with some reservation, 

The Suess in my juice, in my estimation, 

Is precisely what's causing my eggs-ad- yer-ation. 

If you would stop reading me such publication, 

I might stop this radical hallucination. 

My mother was filled with great trepidation, 

An over-reaction, in my estimation. 

My travels to far away places with Cat, 
Continued in spite of our family spat. 



And sleep with my friend, "The Cat in the Hat." 
My mother insisted on reading me Suess, 
and now I am nothing but a crazy rexluse, 
who puts Dr. Suess in her own children's juice, 
'Cause I prefer him over old Mother Goose, 
No wonder I'm nuts, I have an excuse! 

Maria Mellinger 

AFTER YOU HAD GONE 

After you had gone 

I was afraid to sleep 

In the bed we had shared. 

The smell of our togetherness 

Would have been destroyed 

Byt the stench of my loneliness. 

I slept on the floor instead, 

My face directly upon the surfaces 

You once walked on — 

the very same boards that held you 

when you said goodbye, 

the tiles that would now have to hole me 

As I walk through this house alone. 

I was not comfortable, 

But then, without you, 

I could never be. 

Maria Mellinger 

WHEN WE HELD A FUNERAL 

When we held a funeral in the front yard, 
I shoved the neighborhood kids away, 
Not for fear of having to explain death 
And the proper techniques of grave-digging, 
But because I feared they'd want to 
Look inside the shoe-box coffin, see the 
Stiff little body, and ask 
If you'd get cold under all that dirt. 



I'm now a Suess junkie and there's no changing that. 

I'll eat the green eggs until I am fat, 

and speak in continuous rhyming chit-chat, 

Wordeater 75 



Spnng, 1991 



Maria Mellinger 

BUT YOU KNOW THAT ALREADY 

When one told me he loved me, 

I liked that, 

Because he means 

He knows me. 

I'm ail of everything he is. 

When another told me 

He liked me, 

I loved that, 

Because he didn't know me, 

But I'm part of everything he could be. 

Jeff DeGrave 

THIS IS THE AMERICAN UPGRADE 

This is the American upgrade of 

the Japanese haiku — The Double Haiku. You know, it's 

bigger, stronger — MADE IN AMERICA. 



« « « « » » » » 



Maria Mellinger 

WE'LL JUST WRITE TO EACH OTHER 

We'll just write to each other, 

Back and forth; 

It's almost like sex 

When you think about it 

From a wordy angle. 

If we were to speak. 

Our bodies 

Would get in the way. 



« « « « » » » » 



Lor a Baker 



MEMORIES OF YOU 



Memories of you 
hang in the corners 
of my mind 
like sugary strands 
of cobwebs. 
Sometimes I want 
to dust them out 
but I'm afraid 
of not having 
anything left of you 
in my life. 



Steev Custer 
WILL U EVER KNOW? 

I've written a million words for you, and though 
you read them all, you'll never know their intent. 

They want to scream at you in the hall, when they 
see you with your head down. They want to sing to you 
in your dreams when you sleep, blind to the fact that I'm 
dreaming of you. 

I've written a million words for you, and though 
you read them all, you'll never know my intent. 

The words in my head hope that some of your ge- 
nius will rub off when you shake my hand. The words 
in my head hope that someday you'll realize that YOU 
are in my poems. 

Dawn Simmons 

WISH YOU WERE HERE 

It was a comfortable place, 

that heart of yours, 

I was cradled 

in its benevolent arms 

and nestled 

into a vast and fuzzy warmth 

and was made to feel 

so secure 

that I never bothered 

to venture around to the other side 

to find you making snow angels 

in a field 

with someone else. 

« « « « » » » » 

Bethany Jackson 

NOT UNLIKE 

Past passion 

has turned to misery 

because I embraced the body of another 

Who was not unlike yourself 

His kisses were as hollow 

His heart as empty 

And I wept inside at his tough 

but I returned for more 

Because my mind was as superficial as yours 

I thought only of the moment 

die painful moment 

When our trust was broken 

And you lie awake sweating where I was 

While I lie awake sweating where I am 



««««»»»» 



Wordeaier 75 



Spnng, 1991 



Jameson S. Turner 

STRANDED 

Who blesses their sneezes 

These stranded doorway dwellers 

At the mercy of angels 

And elements of man and nature 

Who'll stop and ask 

Say, how much do you make an hour? 

Where to, our refuse? 

When down the beggars path continue 

Packing unblessed sneezes 

Through the high streets of the world 

Maria Mellinger 

IF I MADE A CHAIN OF DAISIES 

If I made a 
chain of daisies 
Or a wreath of 
I'm sorries, 
Would you sing 
To me in smiles 
Once again? . 

Nicole L. Byrnside 

LET GO 

If it only be a woman's way, 
And crying is your course, 
Unleash your lamentation. 
Reveal the ripe remorse. 

Holding back the flood, 

The salty stinging wash? 

Let it go. Explode! 

Then pick up where you left off. . 

You miser the depression 
And let anger take control. 
It seems to me you must believe 
That tears are made of gold. 



David Tieman 

THE SUMMER SPOKE 

The summer spoke 

To us that year 

With beauty that masked 

A cold, forgotten stare 

Urging us to build sandcastles 

On an empty, white-sanded beath 

Forever 

Maria Mellinger 

YOUR LITTLE TINMAN 

Your little Tinman 
Told you he had a heart, 
But no tears have ever 
Really rusted his steel blue eyes. 
He took your box of leaves 
And the Autumn that you loved 
And chopped it into firewood 
To warm him through the winter. 

Judy Belfield 

ANOTHER YEAR IN A DAY 

November spread mourning on toast 

for breakfast; 

I ate everything in sight 

begged for more. 

I am quite swollen from excess; 

carry bags to remind me 

what to pack 

for next October's excursions 

into the Wild Unknown 

where I cannot take Mother 

ever again. 

These days, the nights take over 

and yawn rudely 

in the face of Disaster — 

she doesn't notice. 

I see it all happening 

much too quickly, 

retreat to this cage 

where I continue to watch undisturbed 

and not get involved 

and not get involved 



Wordeater 75 



Spnng, 1991 



SueCherven 
NEMESIS II 

A half hidden figure stands 

in the gloom, afraid to show 
his face; quietly gliding from 

anyone's gaze, where to I just don't know. 
Again we meet, for just one moment, 

and now the moment's gone. 
What do you want? Will you ever 

speak? Or are you just 
an illusion? 

Dawn Simmons 

HEADLIGHTS 

Armies of headlights 
marched in a row. 
For the holiday season 
they were all coming home. 
On my way to work 
at exactly 1:22, 
my headlights wished yours 
would be coming home to me. 

Maria Mellinger 

IT TOOK A LONG TIME 

It took a long time 

For this magic called Real 

To happen to me, 

And although the Skin Horse 

Promised it would always stay, 

Adult rules of love 

Stole it away. 

Frank Sanchez 

ALMOST 

Fragments of a time in 
waiting cement themselves 
in a cautious mind. 
Piece by piece the puzzle 
finds itself but one is missing. 
It is lost. 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



Carol Spinabella 

HEAD O' AIR 

She ran around 

With every jock she met 

Trying to find 

Her worth as a "woman" 

In jock straps 

She was sure it was there 

Somewhere 

Like a piece of lint in her bobby sock 

Which she couldn't quite locate. 

In time, her feet developed callouses 

She lost all sense of her womanhood 

It was stolen and stashed 

In the boys' locker room. 

Maria Mellinger 

LIKE A GHOST 

Like a ghost 

Dissolving into the air 

Or crawling back into the 

Creaking rafters 

She hung herself from, 

My smile 

Dissolves, 

My teeth liquefy, 

My lips are moist 

With the haunted house fear 

Of your 

Apparition in the room. 

Steev Custer 
WORD PROCESSOR LOVE 

The keys beneath my fingers spark an emotion in me 
that cannot be induced by pen, nor pencil. 

The violent whirr of the letters branding themselves to 
this innocent page intoxicates me with the passion for anar- 
chistic manipulation of my thoughts and ideas. 

The keys beneath my fingers scream with hatred for 
their enemy, the page, and pound their fists into its stomach 
making me the captain on the pirate ship of words. 

My crew and I, armed with adjectives, adverbs and other 
parts of speech, sail, on our word processor gallion, over 
spirit master seas to rape, burglarize, and destroy towns and 
villages of grammatical conformity. 

1 Spnng. 1991 



Terry Rogers 

ANY WEEKDAY NIGHT 

On top of the stool 
Billy sits 

Another and another — 
He never quits 

Of overtime 
And things gone wrong 
Are usually the lines 
Of Billy's song 

He points at me and asks 
"Don't you agree?" 
I have to smile and say, 
"Of course I see." 

And when it gets late 

And I have to close 

I wonder about 

What Billy knows — if I'm not busy 



Tina M. Plunk 

THE GIFT OF WINGS 

My wings were clipped 
I was tied to someone else's ways, 
I couldn't soar to my own heights, 
Though I wanted to... 
...someday. 

I'd look out into the distance 
a starry look of ambition in my eyes, 
Only made him add to my chains 
Pulling me further down with his ties. 

I freed myself when he let his guard down 
But I couldn't reach the sky, 
What I needed was your gift of wings 
and it was then I learned to fly. 



««««»»»» 



Maria Mellinger 

YOU HAVE WRAPPED YOURSELF 

You have wrapped yourself 
In a cloak of shyness 
With a collar of fear. 
But the soft skin of your neck 
Is blushing and whispering, 
"Kiss me." 

« « « « » » » » 

Donica Rampa 

KISS? 

Feather light, 
a flicker really — 

Not meant for 
what it was taken as — 
and returned with 
something more. 

Hungry and Dangerous. 

That if left free — unchained — 

Unbridled, 

then might. Just might 

become 



Heartbreak. 



Maria Mellinger 

THE UGLY GIRLS AT THE PARTY 

The ugly girls at the party 
Don't always turn into swans. 
The barefoot boys in the country 
Can't always avoid the thorns. 
The quiet pains of being an adult, 
Putting aside the storybooks and 
Pressing your face to the glass window 
Of what life is really all about. 
Won't disappear when you 
Fall asleep each night. 



Martin Nieznanski 

AZATHOTH 

When I admire the celestial sphere 

I often wonder 

What unremembered diety 

Is gazing at me with 

Infinite eyes. 



<«««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



Spring. 1991 



Bethany Jackson 

HEAVEN SENT 

Falling to the earth in a cloud of moondust 
His eyes drip like candlewax into my soul 
Teasing me with a tongue of ice 
Cold taste sends shivers down my head 
Melting away into a liquid dream 
Misty night with air so chill 
His hands take away all my will 
Numbs my senses and dims my perception 
Wet heat grasps my waist and spine. 
A noble figure to kiss Mars 
His was a gift sent from the stars 
Hovering over me like a thick honey 
My breath takes in his sweet essence 
And his image so diving 
Spinning on the edge of a blade 
Waiting for me to surrender 
And bond his sky with mine 

Eric Jensen 

ANOTHER PROVERB 

Some people see life through the lens of a 
camera with no film. 

Dawn Mooney 

TURNING UP THE VOLUME 

Turning up the volume 
Doesn't change our problems 
Filling our ears 

With drumbeats and guitars solos 
Just gives me a bigger headache. 

Lisa Bucciarelli 

ON LIFE 

If you try too hard to be 

DEEP 

you find yourself 

enveloped 

in 
shallowness 



Maria Mellinger 

COLD AIR 

Cold air. 

Oil from the bridge of your nose, 

Unanswered questions 

Ninety-nine emotions 

Tickle me with 

Your lips. 

Later 

I'll feel guilty. 

Now I'm too busy 

Enjoying it all. 

Judy Belfield 

EMBROIDERIES 

Often 

we are fooled 

by words 

and gestures 

promising 

we will never be 

alone. 

These are not so much 

lies 

as wishes. 

In California 

I learned that blue is 

not the same everywhere 

and death as illusion 

is a trick on us all. 

People mean well, 

I guess, 

the realists 

and the yarn-spinners; 

but I cannot tell the difference 

any more... 

Jeff DeGrave 

A PARADOXICAL GOODBYE 

I long for you 

To shorten your stay... 



««««»»»» 



Wardealer 75 



Spring, 1991 



Maria Mellinger 

IT'S ALWAYS SO EARLY 

It's always so early 

When I'm told to do 

The important things — 

To get out of bed. 

To get into my car, 

To go somewhere and 

Do something and 

Be some alert and 

Meaningful person. 

I prefer the night, 

When I can roam 

Like a soul in a cemetery, 

Studying the graves of my neighbors, 

Dancing on an unclaimed 

Portion of land, 

Dreaming of life 

And what it must be like 

To live. 

Chris Derrick 

MEMORIES OF GREEN 

Now the season's winter 

The leaves are gone away 

Leaving me to ponder 

Memories of green 

Next spring I know 

They will return 

In spit of acid rain 

Will the men in future time 

Still say the same 

Or will our legacy be these 

Memories of green 



««««»»»» 



Maria Mellinger 
INDEPENDENCE 



I want to walk on a 
Sidewalk that your feet 
Have never touched. 
I need to conquer 
concrete. 



««««»»»» 



Jeff Hicks 

QUESTIONS OF NIGHT 

I look through the jet black surroundings of night 

wondering what will happen by daybreak 

Will the flowers open once again? 

Will the shadows disappear? 

Will the vampires and the werewolf 

return to their hidden solitude? 
And can the sun rise before I notice it? 
Am I going to catch a falling star? 

and make a wish? 
What shall I wish for? 
Maybe I'll look for a new friend 
I'll possibly meet someone who could change my life 
Maybe help me wonder 

help me dream 
While we both look 

through the jet clack surroundings of night 



Holly Bruns 
VERBAL METAMORPHOSIS 

The words that left my mouth are not 
The words that entered my head. 
The things you thought you heard me say, 
Are not the things I said. 

I don't know how the sounds I utter, 

once nebulized to air, 

Transform themselves with brand new meaning, 

That really were not there. 

We speak a common language, 
The words are very clear, 
Yet still you don't hear what I've said, 
They different words you hear. 

I want to tell you how I feel, 
Or what is on my mind, 
But the verbal metamorphosis 
Has made me feel confined. 

I'll maintain reluctant silence, 
Not discuss what causes pain, 
Your preference is avoidance, 
Conversation is a strain. 



Wordcater 75 



10 



Spring.! 9«'. 



Maria Mellinger 

DEVILS ARE WINDS 

Devils arc winds 

Blowing change into every comer 

Of my comfortable dusty room. 

Demons are sunsets 

Leaking their orange and purple cloud blood 

Onto the clean white sheets of my bed. 

Vampires are the seasons 

Draining me of each emotion in turn, 

My sores forever open and unhealed, 

My mind forever in memory 

Of the day when autumn passed. 

Shane Van Veghel 
THE TREE SEEMED TO GLOW 

The tree seemed to glow in its own light, lighting 
the entire family room. 

In front of the tree, on the floor, cuddled two people 
sipping champagne. 

The tree had what seemed to be a hundred 
ornaments, each home-made with loving hands. Anna 
had sat down the second year of their marriage and made 
every one of the ornaments. Christian had helped some, 
but he soon found that he didn't have the patient hands 
that Anna had. 

Anna remembered the Christmas before that one, 
when they barely had money enough for presents. She 
had been depressed because they couldn't afford to 
decorate the tree they had bought, even though Christian 
said they could. 

She sat in the small apartment while he ran out to 
get something. When he returned, he was carrying two 
brown paper bags. From the two bags, Christian 
produced ten bags of bows. 

Anna had looked at them as though he was crazy. 
He took the two bags over to the Christmas tree which 
was decorated only with white lights that Christian had 
had forever. He reached into one of the brown bags and 
pulled out a bag of bows. He opened up the bag and 
beckoned Anna over to him. He placed a red bow in her 
hand and took a green one for himself. He dropped the 
bag and then peeled off the paper on the sticker part of 
the bow. 

"Well, come on," he said to Anna, and then stuck 
the bow on a tree branch. Anna smiled. It only took an 
hour to finish the tree and it had actually looked really 
good. Anna had been cheered up. 

Wordeaier 75 



Christian yawned and stretched. He looked up ai 
Anna's tree. He smiled and held her close. As much as 
she liked their first tree, he knew this one was her 
favorite. She had her ornaments, and therefore, her 
security. 



««««»»»» 



Jeffrey Michael B 

LONGING IN YOUR HOLLOW 

You lost you 

Into your own design 

To fall too far 

Is to break through the line 

For all the concern, 

This terrible journey, 

Who can you touch 

With breath, light, and love? 

And here I sit 

Amidst wood and decay 

The others too far — 

Myself in the dark — 

Search for the rays of the sun. 

Enter the Beast 

Of bile and stench 

And battle to breathe the thickened air 

Wrapped warm in his belly 

Under scales and fear 

But, alas, 

I am not you. 

I can only speak of my own 

Knowledge and thoughts. 

I look to the moon 

And hear your song; 

Hear you sing 

And then sigh 

And then sob 

Your children continue to be your beacon: 

Carry you on 

Into shaking heads of disbelief — 

Wonder — 

Joy — 

I will carry you with me 

To my own grave 

In you I must find 

The healthiest of hungers 

And will always hold closely 

The memory of your song 



Spnng,i991 



Maria Mellinger 

YOU ONCE ASKED ME 

You once asked me 

Why the nights are so long 

And beautiful; 

Why daytime is so destructive. 

I answered 

That midnight is when 

The majority sleep 

And only our fortunate eyes 

Fall upon 

Each other. 

Maria Mellinger 

EARTH DAY, 1990 
CENTRAL PARK, NYC 

After middle-class America had shouted her support 
for our dying planet, she drove home in a thousand 
different cars, left behind her pamphlets and pop cans, 
and made it home in time to watch the events' coverage 
on MTV. Tomorrow morning, she would open her 
checkbook and save the world. 

Meanwhile, the bag ladies and bums that belong to 
the park crept out like a child's shadow does close to 
suppertime. They gathered the forgotten newspapers and 
the larger sheets of paper for blankets. The smaller 
pieces fit well in the holes in their shoes or as a 
crumpled pillow. The empty aluminum cans were 
collected like fine china to be traded tomorrow morning 
for a few cents or a free cup of coffee at the recycling 
center. 

These are the people of Earth, brothers. We are 
pollution to them, and they clean up after us as well. 

Steev Custer 
FLUORESCENT HEAVENS 

My Father, being a small and timid man, I was 
never taught much self-defense. My Mother, being a 
peaceful woman, I was never taught how to exert my 
anger and stress. Not that I'm blaming this whole 
predicament on them, of course, but these are important 
factors in my life. 

I enrolled at JJC with the hopes of furthering my 
education and escaping the blatant immaturity of those 
in high school who couldn't accept me for who I was. 

Wordeater 75 



For me to say that maturity was scarce at JuCo would be 
astoundingly incorrect, yet I found its scarcity most 
abundant in certain areas of the Bridge, namely the 
middle. It seemed the people who ridiculed me in high 
school gathered there, for what purpose I really have no 
clue. 

At first, the situation wasn't so bad, an occasional 
comment or two I could handle. Eventually it 
progressed to the point where I dreaded going from one 
side of the campus to another, because the only route in 
which to travel entailed the use of the Bridge. My 
enemies sat like mighty eagles, watching and waiting for 
their prey to wander innocently into the open, where 
they would swoop down with the utmost grace and tear 
the unknowing creature apart with their razor sharp 
claws. 

Today, however, I would not be unprepared. The 
duffel bag that my brother-in-law had given me upon his 
dismissal from the Marine Corps, sat on my floor 
already packed with books and supplies I would need for 
the next day's classes. Without stopping to think what, 
exactly, I was going to do with it, I picked up the 
baseball bat I lovingly referred to as Livewire, and 
shoved it into my bag. My nine o'clock class zoomed 
by, as it usually does, and the time came for me to cross 
the Bridge on my way to Speech. I came upon the TV 
lounge, where several of my friends had decided to take a 
nap instead of going to class, and tried to prepare myself 
for what was yet to come. I wasn't sure, exactly, what 
would happen; in fact, there was a slight possibility that 
nothing would be said, and I would continue on about 
my business. On the other hand, the residents of the 
Bridge could also assault me with any one of a million 
comments ranging from my attire to my mother. 

As I came upon the Memorial for American 
Soldiers, I could feel the adrenalin start to flow, even 
though I had no idea what, exactly, was yet to come. I 
stopped direcdy behind the Memorial and reacquainted 
myself with the position of the bat. I stepped out from 
the protection of the Marble Memorial, into the dragons' 
lair. I held my head high, for none of these people 
needed to see me trying to hide from their sight. 
Suddenly, I felt I wanted someone to say something. I 
wanted them to try to defy my existence, degrade my 
parents or my name. The comment came, as I had 
expected, and I immediately forgot it in the rage that 
filled my head. I stopped in my tracks, and a dozen or 
so, clad in some nauseating shade of fluorescent, rose to 
their feet, standing tall and proud to be finally getting 
what they asked for. What they would actually get, 
however, was not what they asked for. 

As I stepped through the opening in between the 

(continued) 

12 Spnng.1991 



Fluorescent Heavens, continued 



Holly Bruns 



couches, several more wise-ass comments came, but I 
took no heed. The boys had gathered into a small semi- 
circle, and waited for my retort to their feeble-minded 
attacks on my life. I laughed to myself, thinking how 
ridiculous it was that they believed there was strength in 
numbers when I had a Tennessee Thumper on my side. 
None of them even saw the bat as it came off of my 
duffel, in fact, no one even saw it until it met its first 
target and he was lying on the floor, screaming in agony. 

A small crowd had gathered now, and some people 
were screaming, some in terror, and some in victory. 
Seven or eight of the semi-circle members turned and 
ran, most likely thanking God they had worn their 
running shoes. Before anyone else had a chance to 
move, I swung the bat again, only this time striking not 
only its intended victim, but a second behind me. I had 
no time to stop and tally the injuries I had inflicted, for 
there was one more scumbag standing. He snarled a 
long line of obscenities at me, so I have Livewire a final 
swing, striking him square in the stomach and throwing 
him to the floor. 

There was a very large crowd gathered by this time, 
and most of them looked at me as if I were crazy. But I 
paid no attention. I finally felt free, as if someone had at 
last uncuffed me. When in all actuality, campus security 
was cuffing me and leading me down the corridor. I 
wondered if anyone would really understand why I did 
this. I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to do it again. 

Maria Meilinger 

A SIMPLE TALE 

Centuries ago 

The blue eyed boy stood guard 
In a tall tower of Krakow. 
He sighted the invading Turks 
And raised his trumpet to his lips, 
But the signal was silenced 
When an arrow struck his throat 
Today, as it happened in days past 
And as it will happen tomorrow, 
A guard will open the window 
Of a church tower in Krakow 
And blow into his trumpet, 
Stopping suddenly 
As if his throat, too, 
Had been struck. 

Wordeater 75 



STARVATION 

Sigmund Freud was familiar to me even at the age 
of six or seven. Dad would say, "Freud this," and "Freud 
that," and "Skinner this," and "Pavlov that." I thought 
my Dad was a handsome genius. I used to love sneaking 
up the stairs after I'd been tucked in, to I could catch 
snippets of conversation between my parents. Daddy 
always had something brilliant to say. 

One night, when I was in the fourth grade, I heard 
Daddy say, "Jan, I don't understand what your problem 
is. You're my wife. I think you're beautiful. Why 
should you be embarrassed?" 

"Dave, I just don : feel right about this," Mom 
answered. 

"Fine, Jan. You asked me to tell you what I want 
and need. I told you. What the hell good did it do?" 

Mom started crying. Mom cried a lot. In fact, Mom 
cried so often that we had all become desensitized to her 
tears. 

I waited on the stairs, wondering what would be 
revealed about Mom's problem. 

"Dave, what do you want from me?" she sniffled. 
She blew her nose. There was silence. 

I knew my Dad. Silence meant he was thinking. 
Silence meant he was angry. I wondered which silence 
he was maintaining at that moment. I wished I could 
see his face. 

Mom hated Dad's silence more than anything. 
When his silences continued for days, I had often found 
Mom hiding in the kitchen or the bathroom crying. 
When I would ask why she was crying, she frequently 
said, "Daddy's not talking to me." 

I never understood why Mom cried about that. 
Sometimes I would be reminded of a phrase I'd often 
heard from her and Dad: "Do you want something to 
really cry about? 

Silence didn't seem like a good reason to cry. I 
thought my Mom was a very weak woman. 

"Dave, if you really want this, I'll give it a try. 
When do you want to do it?" 

"Aren't the girls going to Girl Scout Camp next 
week?" 

"Yes. They're leaving Saturday morning." 

"Then we can drop them at the bus and leave from 
there." 

The conversation ended abrupdy. I heard Mom pick 
up glasses and go into the kitchen. My Dad went into 
the bathroom. I sat on the shadowy stairs hoping they 

(continued) 

13 Spnng.1991 



Starvation, continued 

weren't going somewhere to get a quick divorce like the 
people on TV. I let my imagination run wild with the 
possibilities of what would happen if they got divorced. 

I was suddenly forced to cancel my eavesdropping 
and daydreaming when a sneaky spider on an invisible 
thread landed on the stair in front of me. I went to bed 
knowing that they were talking about getting divorced. I 
hadn't made any sense of their conversation. I only 
knew that they had disagreed about something important 
and I assumed it was about their marriage. 

I was able to forget my worries at summer camp. I 
developed a painful crush on one of my counselors 
named Tulip." All the camp counselors were named 
after flowers. Tulip was a fair-skinned, blue-eyed girl in 
her late teens. She had hair the color of walnut shells. 
The skin on her face was almost transparent and dotted 
with walnut-colored freckles. I stared at her whenever 
she was around, and blushed when she spoke to me. I 
wanted to touch her. I wanted to see her with her clothes 
off. It didn't occur to me once that what I was feeling 
was unusual. I didn't stop to assess the direction of my 
thinking. I was nine. I was in love. 

Daddy had always said, "There's nothing wrong with 
nudity. Naked bodies are beautiful." My sisters and I 
believed him. We were naked every chance we got. The 
naked bodies of my Mom and Dad were a sight we had 
grown used to. I had been told the details of sexual 
intercourse when I was in kindergarten. I had been told 
about homosexuality. I knew that it was perfectly 
normal and acceptable for people to touch themselves in 
certain ways. I knew there was no Santa Claus, no 
Tooth Fairy, and no Easter Bunny. There was no such 
thing as a "dirty word." My Dad said so. Dirty words 
were only dirty because of the meanings people attached 
to them. Daddy was an atheist. We didn't believe in 
God. We laughed at people who did. Freud was God. 
Skinner was God. Pavlov was God. Daddy was God. 
Tulip was God. 

Tulip taught me how to cook bacon and eggs in a 
paper bag over a campfire. They tasted great. She 
showed us how to make homemade ice-cream with 
crushed peppermint. She cooked a perfect golden 
marshmallow and gave it to me for my graham cracker 
and chocolate. Whenever I saw Tulip, I felt very 
hungry. 

Summer camp ended and Tulip and I parted ways. 
She never knew I loved her and my fantasies ended before 
the three-hour bus ride home. The memory of an earlier 
conversation slipped into my brain somewhere between 
Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, and I wondered who I'd be 
living with when I got home. 

Wordeaicr 75 



Mom greeted my sisters and me with a smile and a 
hug. Her wedding band was still intact and she was 
cheerful as we drove home. My sisters and I sang our 
camp songs and related our camp tales. She told us that 
she and Dad had gone away to the mountains for a few 
days while we were gone, and said they'd had a good 
time. Daddy was home when we got there, and my 
anxieties were alleviated. 

Daddy taught me something important when I was 
in the fourth grade. I had to do a project for the science 
fair and he volunteered to help. He took me to the 
University and let me pick out my own white rat. I was 
excited to have a rat of my own. I gave him an unusual 
name, like "Mouse," or "Tiger," or "Dog," and grew 
attached to him immediately. Dad and I built a maze tor 
the rat and my learning experience was underway. 

"Don't handle the rat too much," Dad instructed 
right away. "He'll get spoiled and confused. And 
remember, don't feed him unless he does what you want 
him to do. If he starts out slow, reward him after 
making one correct turn. After a day or two, reward him 
after making two correct turns. Eventually, he will learn 
to travel this maze in exactly the way you want him to. 

I felt sorry for my rat. I thought he needed to be 
held. I didn't think it was kind to make him go hungry. 
But Daddy was a smart man. I trusted his judgment. 

The rat learned his lesson well. I was proud of what 
I would have to show at the science fair. A week before 
the project was due, however, the rat escaped his 
confines and was lost. We never found him. Mom said 
the cat probably ate him. Dad got me a new rat, but the 
new rat didn't have time to learn the maze. My science 
project was presented "in theory" as Dad advised. I 
explained how the theory was put into effect. 

The science fair judge asked me what I'd learned 
from my project I recited some story about rewarding 
correct behavior. I didn't quite understand the theory of 
starvation, so I left that part out. 

Toward the end of summer, a month or so after 
returning home from camp, I found my mother in the 
kitchen crying. 

"What are you crying about. Mom?" I asked. 

"Oh, nothing honey." 

"How come you're crying about nothing?" 

She didn't respond. I couldn't walk away from her. 
Something made me want to badger her into telling me 
why she was crying again. 

"Is Daddy mad at you?" I asked. 

"Never mind about that. Just set the table." 

"Mom, you're always crying. Why are you always 
crying? Aren't you happy? Did someone do something 
to hurt your feelings? Do you wish you didn't have 
children sometimes?" 

14 Spnng,199l 



"No. It's not you girls. Your Dad and I are having 
some problems, that's all." 

That's all? I wondered of they were having 
problems because my Dad was sick of seeing my mother 
cry. 

"What kind of problems, Mom?" 

"Well, a lot of it has to do with our sex life. It's 
stuff that you're too young to understand." 

"I'm not too young. You've already told me about 
sex. Why wouldn't I understand?" 

Mother stopped crying for a minute and smiled at 
me. "You think so?" she asked. 

Dad came into the kitchen than and saw my mother 
had been crying. The smile was gone. She turned her 
reddened, puffy face and runny nose toward my Dad. He 
looked at her briefly, poured a glass of iced tea, and went 
back into his study. 

Silence was like heavy smoke in the kitchen. I 
thought it would probably suffocate my mother and me 
if we didn't open a window, draw a breath of fresh air, 
and let in some noise. 

"Mom, why do you let him treat you that way?" 

"You don't know what you're talking about. You're 
too young to understand." 

"How do you know?" I badgered. 

"Okay, okay, you want to know? You think you'll 
understand? Okay. I'll tell you. Do you remember 
when you went to camp and your Dad and I went to the 
mountains? Well, while we were gone, your father paid 
a man to come to our hotel and have sex with me, so he 
could watch, and NOW, NOW, he won't talk to me 
because he wants me to do something else like that and I 
don't want to. Some things aren't right!" 

I got the plates and glasses and silverware. I put 
them on the table just the way I had been taught. The 
spoon and the knife on the right with the knife blade 
toward the plate so it wouldn't cut someone. I folded the 
napkins "just so." My mother was silent. She wasn't 
crying now. I remember the scene so vividly, yet I can't 
remember what we at for dinner that night. 

I couldn't figure out which part was wrong and 
which part was right. Maybe Mom had mixed it up. Or 
maybe it was wrong for people to touch themselves in 
certain ways. Maybe there was a Santa Claus after all. 
Maybe there was a God. 

Sometime during the next year, my Dad brought 
home a little spider monkey from the University. We 
named him "Jo-Jo" and put diapers on him. He slept in 
a tiny baby bed that belonged to one of my dollies, and 
Mom put a board on the top so he wouldn't get out 
when he wasn't supposed to. Jo-Jo wasn't meant to be a 
family pet, in spite of what my sisters and I wanted. 
Daddy brought him home so he could train the monkey 

Wordeiter 75 



to use the toilet. He insisted he could make this 
monkey learn. 

My mother nearly went crazy trying to keep up with 
Jo-Jo. She would be responsible for carrying out the 
necessary procedures when Dad was at work or at the 
University. I remember that the monkey pooped 
everywhere but the toilet and my mother became very 
frustrated and grouchy at times. Still, Dad insisted that 
the monkey would learn. 

One day, we took the monkey with us to visit some 
friends who lived on a farm. Somehow, the monkey got 
up on the roof and fell. He struck his head on a rock 
and was killed. I didn't see this incident. My sisters and 
I were just told that Jo-Jo was dead and how it had 
happened. I thought immediately that Jo-Jo had jumped 
on purpose. I had a feeling that monkeys could commit 
suicide if they wanted to. 

Eventually, Mom and Dad did divorce. Dad left 
Mom without giving any notice. She came home from 
work one day and he was gone. He packed his jogging 
suit and Nikes, and took off in the Volkswagen. He left 
her everything, including the mortgage payment. She 
cried for days and weeks. She said she couldn't stand the 
silence. 

She told me, after Dad was gone, that the monkey 
hadn't jumped. Dad had killed the monkey himself 
because he couldn't stand to take it back to the 
University and admit his failure. Silendy, I wondered if 
he hadn't also killed my rat. Perhaps he couldn't stand 
to see my success. 

He called her several months later and said he would 
be in town around Thanksgiving and wanted to come by 
and pick up some things he left behind. Mom was 
nervous and excited. She planned a big Thanksgiving 
dinner and insisted we all be present. 

I told my Mom I couldn't make it. I knew I 
wouldn't be hungry. She didn't say much. She was 
crying when I hung up the receiver. 



««««»»»» 



Lora Baker 



LATELY MY LIFE 



Lately my life is like 

a snow globe, 
just as the snow settles 
someone comes along 
and shakes it up again. 



««««»»»» 



15 



Spnng.1991 



David Tieman 

THE FOURTH OF JULY THAT MOVED TO 
CALIFORNIA 

We met 

Under the dazzling show of light 

And each time 

A beautiful image 

Would burst into the night sky, 

I could catch a moment 

Of the beauty that sat beside me 

In awe, 

Gazing at the fireballs 

That seemed to fall all around us 

Like falling stars 

So, 

I made many wishes that night 

All of which came true 

But the grand finale 

With brilliant colors 

That soon faded 

Left me alone 

Searching for another heart to cling to. 

Jameson Turner 

BLEEDING SOCIETY 

I am the brother of this world 

Pour your cup of discontent upon my head 

I am not God 

But I am in His image with two arms 

To offer help 

Rest your being in the shade of me 

I am a tree 

Everything to everyone I long to be 

But this foul flesh limits me to stay 

In but one place, one time, one mind 

But curse it? I dare not 

For in it find 

A shelter, haven, rest 

And life to seize and drink and dine 

Jeff Hicks 

NONSENSE 

The days are getting better now 
The winds are starting to shift 
Maybe I'll become a cloud 
And drift and drift and drift. 



Judy Belfield 

LOSS OF FAITH 

We wear gray today 

and drag our feet 

across the tiled piazza. 

Our slow procession 

moves without sound 

toward the fat stone church. 

We do not look up 

or to our sides; 

our thoughts are to be 

directed by Goodness; 

we must meditate on holy things 

as a group. 

There is power in our prayer 

humility in our loss of self. 

I am distracted now and then — 

a devil uniquely mine 

breathes a cold sigh 

on my neck 

sings a promise softly 

in my ear. 

I listen 

then carry my sin 

past thick wooden doors 

into God's house 

where the priest reminds me 

that there are secrets here. 

"Dominus vobiscum," he chants. 

I think, for a second, 

there might be hope. 

But even then 

I knew. 

Dawn Simmons 

PERHAPS 

Perhaps that throughout the 

entire time it happened 

no one ever 

saw what was happening 

and it didn't make a difference 

'cause we weren't the 

only friends to ever fall in 

love 

and pretend it never happened. 



Wordeater 75 



16 



Spnng.1991 



Sailor 

LET THEM DREAM 

Let the children dream 
For one day the dreams shall fade 
Let their imaginations flow today 
Tomorrow logic shall rule 

Let them create their own little worlds 
To play in and enjoy 
Soon this world shall claim them 
And the dreams shall become memories 

We hold on to our dreams 
By encouraging the children to dream 
We can go on, knowing they are happy 
So please, let them dream 

« « « « » » » » 

Jeffrey Michael B 

UNTITLED 

the sky turned around to you 

it pulled me over the dry, long pool 

i saw shooting stars on a cloudy night 
i held you here when you weren't in sight 
i kissed your thought in the darker light 
and looked for you above 

« « « « » » » » 

Maria Mellinger 

VISITATION RIGHTS 

I went to see the guru 
Standing on the mountain top 
With his eyes upon the skies 
And in his hand a soda pop. 
I asked him 
"Do you know 
If what I've done is right?" 
And he answered, 
• "Ask me later, 
It's been a rather long night." 

I went to see the doctor 

With his maps of body parts, 

Thinking he would know the antidotes 

To pains involving hearts. 

I asked him 

"Do you know 

If what I've done is right?" 

And he poked me 



With a stethoscope 

And blinded me with a light. 

I went to see the teacher 

Who had visited Walden Pond 

And had studied sorcery 

And possessed a magic want. 

I asked him 

"Do you know 

If what I've done is right?" 

And he answered 

"I've lost my vision 

And I have no second sight." 

I went to see Fr. McKenzie 

With his rosary and beads. 

With his words and his deeds. 

I asked him 

"Do you know 

If what I've done is right?" 

And he answered 

"The Devil's within you, child, 

He's the cause of your plight." 

Then I sat down beside myself 

And turned to me and said, 

'There's too much confusion here 

Deep inside my head." 

And I asked me 

"Do you know 

If what I've done is right?" 

And I answered 

"Honey, you worry too much. 

We'll get through this life." 

Frank Sanchez 

EYELENS 

Sharp green lines attack the day 

Sharper than any other color except maybe blue. 

Vision trained to the colors, shapes and expressions. 

The constant flow of people through streets, mindless 

Of each other, scratching or floating, but most 

Just walking, through another day. 

The fields afar, yet so near, yellow-dappled green 

Or multi-shaded brown reaching out, and the scents 

Of the open playing upon memories. 

People through streets. 

Green and brown. 

Oblivion within a teeming existence. 



Wardeater 75 



17 



Spnng.1991 



Maria Mellinger 

YOU CAPTURE MY ATTENTION 

You capture my attention 
Like a jar full of change — 
You make a pretty sound 
When I shake you up, 
But you're just not worth 
That damn much. 

Connie Legters 

MURMURS 

I love 

to hear wind 

come round the corner 

of my house, 

finding old wood, 

creaking gently, 

soothing softly. 

It murmurs 

as the frame braces 

for the next blast 

to come. 

Night will happen 

while I sleep ■ 

lightly, 

so not to miss 

a single word 

my house has to say. 



Maria Mellinger 
MY CITY IS STILL 



Donica Rampa 

LISTEN UP 

Take heed ye crows, cows and crustaceans- 

for the time is at hand 

When 

Words Without Meaning, 

Action Without Thought, 

and 

Existence in Pathetic Isolation 

will ruin you — 

make Nothing of you — 

Like the Nothing you have made. 

This fate be your? 

Then you are beyond pity, 

And so be it. 



My city is still 
Dark when yours 
Begins to rise, 
But it is midnight 
To us both — 
The mourning hour. 



Terry Rogers 

JE JOVE LES TAMBOURS 
POUR 'VOUS' 

When I sit alone 

I think, 

Of how to relax 

Of what we all enjoy 

That's when I feel a pulse 

More than rhythm, 
There's melody too 
And mood plays bass 

I hope that when you listen 

you'll be impressed 

I hope that when you listen 

you'll be on your own 

Most of all — I hope that you'll listen 

Eric Jensen 

FROSTBITE 

You live inside your ice walls 

Built with bricks of humor 

And transparent apathy 

Do you buy yourself 

With laughter 

Or has it eaten 

Your soul away completely 

Shed a tear to save yourself 
Before it's too late 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



18 



Spring, 1991 



Jeff DeGrave 

I MUST APOLOGIZE 

I must apologize 

For I am not a writer 

Nor a poet 

I am 

Merely a curator of words — 

Words from which you 

Have inferred 

A meaning... 

Dawn Mooney 

WITH YOU 

With you 

I am safe from the world 

Like some little girl 

Protected from the monsters in her closet 

I am loved and cared for 

And I can love and care 

Without fear of rejection 

I know it's not always easy 

But I'm willing to work on forever 

With you 

Maria Mellinger 

THE OLD INVENTOR 

The old inventor, 
Leaning heavily on 
His ivory cane, 
Spoke of parts and hearts 
Machines and making love, 
Inventions and intentions. 
And pulling on his 
Mad scientist mustache 
He pointed a finger at me 
And whispered, "You 
Are your own creation. 
Invent your own ending." 



Nicole L. Byrnside 
AGAINST TIME 

I smashed the clock 

Against the wall; 
Tried to stop the deadly ticking. 
I cringed humiliation 

As I saw my own reflection 
In the shards of the clock's glass casing. 

Though the clock was in pieces, 

Sail I heard the ticking. 
Then a knocking sounded 

clear 

beneath my skull. 
With the knocking came a voice; 

Persistent, shouting, 

Cold, demanding. 
"What the Hell are you looking for today?" 

What good is life 

If you spend a lifetime looking 

For a corner of a crevice you'll find it." 

Living to be nothing 
or 

Never really knowing, 
As wicked time slowly sifts away. 

Amidst unhampered ticking, 
Of one matter I was certain, 
No strange voice could share 
The knowledge of my shame. 

The only poisoned power 
That could crush 

My fear of dying 
Is unleashing an undying fear of living. 

Lisa Bucciarelli 

A LIE IS LIKE 

A lie is like 
a spool of thread 
that begins to unravel 
as the lie is said. 



. Wordeacer 75 



19 



Spnng, 199i 



Bethany Jackson 

THE HIDDEN WITHIN 

Disguised in the face of my lover 
Whose rough passion does send away regret 
Two fangs of whitest ivory hover 
Secure under twilight's silk violet 

He proudly wraps his arms around the dead 
And pressing his cool lips to my soft neck 
He asks my virgin self to share his dread 
For I cannot put evil's plan to wreck 

My heart does drift in Hell's romantic fire 
Where new death drips into frozen veins 
Entrapping souls like rats along the mire 
I am but one who found love brings more pains 

In death the key to life is written lust 
Do never give to loin the blood of trust 

Chris Derrick 

HORRORSHOW 

Life is Horasha* 
Filled with delight 
Life is Horrorshow 
One constant fight 
Reforms in the east block 
Destroyed by Black Berets 
Our troops near Iraq 
Will surely fight in days 
Rain forests in Brazil 
Burn on through the night 
Loggers try to kill 
The last spotted owl in flight 
Industries pollute the Earth 
With chemicals hard to name 
Gangs patrol their city turf 
Searching rivals to maim 
Drugs corrupt the land 
The police cannot help 
Problems permeate the world 
Our leaders do not help 
Life is horasha 
Filled with delight 

* Russian for "good" 



Martin Nieznanski 

MANDELLA 

Four arms of cloudy plumage reach 
For the puddles of dust beneath 
My feet, while the satin of a 
Rabbit's hide covers that glowing 
Part known only to myself as 
The breath of some forgotten god 
« « « « » » » » 

Maria Mellinger 

HOW, EXACTLY 

How, exactly, 

Does poetry "flow"? 

My words are not 

An Olympic-sized pool 

For you to swim in. 

They are small and unathletic. 

My words are not 

A river, 

For I'm much more 

Interested in mud, 

And the feel of it 

Between my toes. 

My words are not 

An ocean 

Because my language 

Is limited 

And comfortable, actually. 

My words are 

Sharp little stones 

That stick in your side 

And so 

You want them to "flow" 

Far away from you. 

But this is my poetry. 

Dawn Simmons 

TO JAY 

I'm sorry that I hurt you, 

but I guess 

being called a kid at heart 

from a person who hates kids 

made me want to 

all the more. 



Wordeaier 75 



20 



Spring, 1991 



Lora Baker 

HEAVY METAL MUSIC 

(light show with lots of fog being released) 

i loud car-splitting scream; 

I killed your mother and I raped your dog 

(another scream) 

(intense musical interlude, dude!) 

(another scream followed by drum solo) 

[applause followed by groupies throwing 
panties at lead singer and a shower of guitar 
pieces as guitar is being shattered by singer on 
stage] 

Steev Custer 

HAND WRITTEN POEM 2 

We shared our first 

endeavor 

last evening 

with the midnight sun 

as our only witness, 

and now I'm not 

sure if I'm supposed 

to hold your hand 

and stay 

forever 

or fade away 

like a childhood 

memory lost in 

responsibility. 



Lisa Bucciarelli 

I ONCE KNEW A BOY 

I once knew a boy 

a beautiful young man 

Much like this kite 

I'm holding here today. 

We used to soar above the clouds 

I'd watch us in the sky. 

But then he pulled away from me 

And I knew no reason why. 

Sometimes we flew lowly. 
Others, we soared high. 
But, I never never knew how low we'd go 
Until he said goodbye. 

« « « « » » » » 

Maria Mellinger 

WINONA, MINNESOTA 

We were driving 

Twenty towns per hour, 

A piece of my personality 

Neady deposited at each exit. 

You were asleep. 

The road was asleep. 

Even our Chihuahua was 

Dreaming somewhere beneath 

The brake pedal. 

I was awake 

Trying to read the road signs, 

Forgetting how to fold the map, 

Forgetting myself. 



Maria Mellinger 
YOUR EYES 



Your eyes, 

Across from mine 

At a party 

Where the people move 

Like factory workers 

At an assembly line, 

Rip through the 

Paper thin silence 

Of my night 

And invite 

Me to dance. 

Wordeaier 75 



««««»»»» 



Frank Sanchez 

CALL OF WINTER 

Alone the land, the frozen ground, 
The lifeless stretch without a sound. 
From East to West, the drifts that rise. 
Lie barren beneath the frozen sky. 
Sunlight shines with feeble strength 
Upon the crystal dusted lengths. 
The sea of white into the distance fades 
As the shadows of night slowly invade. 
Oh! Daylight eye! 
Seize the frozen sky! 



21 



Spring. 1991 



Jeff Hicks 



Judv Belfield 



SILENT WAGON 



PARALYSIS 



I sat in my silent wagon 

Waiting for someone to give a push 

But what was that I heard? A jet? 

Yes, it was a fighter jet. 

1 pushed the throttie forward 

The sound of turbines whined behind me 

I roared off into the sky, my white scarf in the wind 

I ncared the enemy plane 

I dipped 

I dived 

I climbed 

my guns a blazing 
And as the final jet ran away 
I landed my jet and sat in my silent wagon 
Waiting for someone to give me a push 



««««»»»» 



Tina M. Plunk 



HE PLAYED SUMMER 



And he played summer with me. 

From after breakfast 

to way into the sunset 
We shared our lives together, 

on the swings 

in the clubhouse 

in the fields. 
Living, learning, growing, 

in a summer silence. 



Til, 



My life depends 

on plans I've 

placed together 

as carefully as puzzle pieces 

yet I have no control. 

I cannot even control me. 

Everything 

is out of hand 

gone haywire 

snipped free of order 

and I 

in the center of chaos 

cannot make sense 

of anything 

including myself. 

I write me into words 

that seem to offer 

limits 

seem to define 

rule and reason 

yet fail. 

I write me into plans 

that follow one another 

and fill time 

in every tiny corner 

until everything else 

is squeezed out 

as surely as a last breath. 

Still I cannot control results 

unless I do something 

profoundly 

irreversible. 



reality got down and 
put us in our spot 



««««»»»» 



Steev Custer 



But for awhile 

He played summer with me. 

Eric Jensen 

COMPANIONS 

Living in fear is like living in a net. 
We can see all around us but are not free. 
Love is like a pair of scissors. 

Wordeater 75 



CRACKED 

"Joseph, you promised. You lied to me," she 
screamed. He seemed to be ignoring her, so Barbara 
screamed even louder. "You promised we would be 
together for the rest of our lives, and now you're going 
to walk out and forget me?" 

"Yes," he replied quite calmly, "and the sooner the 
better." Joseph grabbed his car keys off the table and 
turned toward the door. She grabbed him and whirled his 
body to face her. She was crying now, but that had no 
effect on Joseph. "I'm in no mood for your childish 

(continued) 

22 Spring, 199! 



Cracked, continued 



Maria Mellinger 



sniveling." He was started to lose his temper. 

Joseph turned once again and headed for the door. 
This time, he turned in reaction to the sound of Barbara's 
body hitting the floor. He walked closer to her, she was 
sobbing. "She's actually going to beg," he thought. 
Barbara slowly raised her head to look at him. Joseph 
stared into her eyes; she looked so helpless lying there 
on the floor like a child, lost from her parents, scared and 
alone. 

He kneeled down beside her and took her into his 
arms. She kissed him, and he wondered why he would 
ever want to leave her. Joseph and Barbara made love to 
each other on the living room floor just six feet from the 
front door where, less than forty-five minutes before, 
Joseph had been determined to leave and never return. 
Now, as he lay on the floor, he felt remorseful. He 
decided to tell Barbara how sorry he was and how much 
he loved her, but she was not there. "Barbara?" he 
called. 

There was no reply. After he second call, he felt a 
wave of nausea and panic sweep over him. He tried to 
relax, but felt in his heart that something was not right. 

Suddenly, Barbara was above him, knife in hand. 
She was screaming something, but Joseph was too 
stunned to make out what it was. He felt the blade 
pierce his chest; his vision started to blur. He knew he 
had to try to make it to the phone, but he only managed 
to crawl two feet before he lost all strength and blacked 
out. 

He was in a tunnel now, but no matter how hard he 
ran, he couldn't seem to reach the end. Joseph heard 
himself ask if he was going to Heaven or Hell, but there 
was no voice to tell him where he was. He started to 
worry that he would spend eternity in purgatory. 

Joseph slowly opened his eyes. He was lying on 
the living room floor, next to Barbara, who was shaking 
vigorously. He dressed himself, thinking it must have 
been one hell of a bang for him not to even remember it. 
Joseph went into the kitchen and retrieved the last beer 
from the fridge. 

On his way back to the living room, Joseph noticed 
that there were message on the answering machine. He 
pressed the play button and the machine whirred and 
clicked itself awake, spitting out the voice of his 
mother, inviting him and his new wife to dinner. The 
second and last message was from his best friend, Gary: 
"Yo, Joey, how was the trip, man? Hey, you know 
where to get some more when you're intereste..." 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



STURE, BIRGITTA, AND NICK RHODES— 
A BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE 

Birgitta is seventeen years old. She had cool hair, 
usually black, but sometimes her blonde roots show. 
She used to be a cheerleader, B.D.D. (Before Duran 
Duran), and wore ponytails and miniskirts and makeup. 
Today, she wears either her high school uniform or her 
Burger King uniform with "Nick" on the name tag (she 
told her manager that Birgitta ia a Communist name 
meaning "Karl Marx is groovy.) She owns one other 
article of chothing — a blue satin tour jacket with "Seven 
and the Ragged Tiger" embroidered in thirteen different 
colors on the back. Birgitta's father works at the 
fragrance counter at Marshall Fields and her mother 
writes scirpts for cat food commercials. 

Sture is nineteen but hasn't enlisted for the draft yet. 
At this point in time, he has red hair, but the five 
O'clock shadow hovering on his chin is a light brown. 
His real name is Stanley, but he changed it when he 
started his job selling occult books door to door. Sture 
rhymes with "door." He puts applications in at every 
local record store once a month, but no one has ever 
called. His parents own a yogurt store, like some 
twisted real life scenario from Fast Times at Ridgemont 
High, although he's never seen the movie. His favorite 
movie is Patty Hearst. 

Nick Rhodes is the keyboardist for Duran Duran. 

Sture loves Birgitta. Birgitta loves Nick. Nick 
loves strawberries and jellybeans. (Ooops. The Beatles 
loved jellybeans. Sorry. You may stop pelting Simon 
LeBon with them now.) 

Birgitta and Sture met at the candle shop in the 
mall. Both were buying incense, which just proves how 
good their karma was from the beginning. She did not 
have enough money for her Gonesh Incense; he pressed a 
quarter into her hand with all the sensuality of a skinny 
English pop star performing a synthesizer solo. It was 
love. 

Neither said a word as they walked to Musicland. 
She rarely spoke, which is why she was a grill girl at 
BK, and his conversations were , for the most part, held 
with slamming doors. Once in the store, Sture began 
browsing the blues section, but one glance from Birgitta 
forced him to forget all music except New Romantic. 

That very night Sture began to study Duran Duran. 
Birgitta loaned him her novels, albums, and back issues 
of Bop, which used the word "hunk" approximately 213 
times per issue. As will be revealed here for the first 
time anywhere, he actually hated the fave five. He hated 

(continued) 

23 Spnng. 1991 



Sture, Birgitta, and Nick Rhodes, continued 

their water thin bodies, their split ends, and the stupid 
way they tucked their lies into their shirts below the 
third button. He did not understand why there was a 
New Moon on Monday or why they didn't go get a 
burger if they were Hungry Like the Wolf. 

He loved Birgitta, and so he suffered. She came to 
his house and redecorated his room with pictures of the 
band. Often, when they would make out, he would catch 
her with her eyes open staring at Nick. He gave her 
hickies of insecurity, in case Mr. Rhodes should happen 
into town. 

She began to shop for his clothes, as well as 
choosing influential reading from the library, the perfect 
dance albums from the shops, and the best Miss Clairol 
formula to use on his head. He was introduced to all her 
friends and served as an escort to Duran Duran birthday 
parties, where each of the girls sang their favorite album 
in honor of the birthday boy, read stories about 
themselves and their Duran husbands, and ate cake and 
ice cream. Sture always felt awkward at such gatherings, 
but his silence was accepted as an adorable personality 
quirk of the first boyfriend in the girls' clique. 

Birgitta slept with her phone off the hook, so that 
she could listen to Sture sleeping. One night he woke 
up at 3 a.m., turned on his light, and left his room to 
use the toilet. Birgitta woke up too, dressed in her BK 
uniform, and" was at his house in just under five 
minutes, fearing he was about to sneak out to another 
girl. 

They never did "it," because Birgitta was saving 
herself for the day when Nick himself would knock on 
her door. If Sture was a woman, he would have John 
Geese's love child. 

As the years passed, Duran Duran fell apart. The 
band fractured into solo projects and movie scores, 
including John Taylor's arted out debut, "I Do What I 
Do To Have You" from the 9-1/2 Weeks soundtrack. 
Roger Taylor retired and bought a farm, Andy Taylor's 
hair began to resemble John Bon Jovi's, and Simon, 
Jon, and Nick tried to reorganize. Meanwhile, Sture and 
Birgitta bought leather jackets, got into the Smiths, and 
let their hair grow out. Having "outgrown" Nick, 
Birgitta vowed to learn all the words to Morrissey's first 
album and to always be faithful to Sture. 

At junior college, Birgitta mandated Sture in a box 
in her advertising class, and it's commonly believed they 
each had an air tank filled with the other's breath for 
when they were separated. Once, Birgitta was cornered 
in the ladies room while the headbangers searched her 
purse, believing Sture was hidden inside. He wasn't, but 
they did find his underwear. 

Wordcater 75 



And then, finally, a freak accident occurred. Duran 
Duran, minus Roger and Andy, was on the comeback 
trail. A mistake landed them a gig at the junior college 
cafeteria (the theater was booked for the night). Sture 
and Birgitta, however, had a plan to lose their virginity 
that night, and the couple checked into a room at the 
local hotel. Duran Duran, of course, had checked into the 
very same hotel minutes earlier. 

At 7:00 p.m., Birgitta requested a Pepsi. Sture, not 
wanting to ruin the mood, agreed to fetch one. Across 
the hall, Mr. Rhodes was experiencing the most 
unpleasant eyebrow tweezing of his life (so bad, in fact, 
that he considered simply shaving lines into them like 
rap artists). He left his room at 7:01 to get ice for his 
plucking pains. 

At 7:03, as Simon LeBon slept and John Taylor did 
James Bond impersonations in front of a full-length 
mirror, Sture got lost in the hallways following his own 
celebrity idol, Eve Plumb, the talented actress who 
portrayed Jan on The Brady Bunch. At 7:05, as Brigitta 
began to file her nails in anticipation of Sture's return, 
Nick, too, got lost in the hotel's vastness. 

Sture never suspected that as he discussed polyester 
and plot lines with Ms. Plumb, Nick Rhodes was 
knocking on his girlfriend's door. 



««««»»»» 



Shane Van Veghel 
MERETZ WAS TIRED OF STANDING 

Meretz was tired of standing. It felt as though she'd 
been doing it forever. Carefully, she squatted down. 

Meretz hated watch and its endless hours of solitude 
and silence. The enure affair was worthless as far as she 
was concerned. 

She scanned the rubble below her perch. Nothing 
moved, there was just miles of motionless chunks of 
what used to be buildings. At least the dust had finally 
all settled, she reflected, it had made the nights so eerie. 
Now it was just nigh over ruins. 

Meretz huddled down into her warm cloak. She 
wished someone would find a way to turn the power 
back on. But, then again, what would be the point? 
There wasn't anyone to run the TV and ratio stations. 
She doubted that they'd even be able to find any TVs'or 
radios that still worked anyway. 

The stars were out. They seemed dim. Meretz 
remembered when they had still shone bright, back when 
she still had parents. Now, she had the scavengers and 
she guessed they were all right, except they stuck her out 
on stupid watch. 

(continued) 

24 Spnng. 1991 



Meretz Was Tired of Standing, continued 

The only things that moved out in the rubble now 
were four- legged, not two. Well, she figured, it wouldn't 
be long before her replacement showed up. 

Her stomach growled and she quickly quieted it with 
a swig of water from her Gl-Joe canteen. 

WaLcr, Meretz so desperately wanted to take a hot 
bath with loads of bubbles. Unfortunately, good water 
was scarce and the oldest of the Scavengers wouldn't let 
anyone waste it. 

She hated being dirty. Her clothes were old and tom 
and she hated them too. She wanted the old days when 
she had pretty dresses, crisp new blue jeans and white 
canvas tennis shoes. 

Footsteps behind her brought her back to the 
present. She slowly got back up and turned around. A 
scrawny boy, not quite her age, stood before her. 

"Okay, Meretz," he said, "you can go back now." 
Meretz nodded. 

"Be careful, Rocky," she said sarcastically. 

The boy smiled, took her place and then saluted her. 
Meretz returned his salute and began her climb down to 
the ground. All the way back to homebase, all she 
thought about was a bowl of warm soup and a long 
night's sleep in warm blankets. 



David Tieman 



««««»»»» 



Bethany Jackson 

BEAUTIFUL SUICIDE 

I saw suicide standing in the shadows of my mind 
A beautiful man in black sardonically whispering my name 
His long arms outstretched to embrace my weary body 
Regret like cobwebs clung to his emaciated form. 

A glint of hope reflected off of his features 
It was then that I recognized the unmasked creature 
The flesh of hell and beauty was smiling^ . 
Carving into cold stone my tortured destiny ■«, 

Cold wind blew into my isolated soul 

His breath was seeping into my skin 

His form drew closer 

Until he was covered with the dampness of my tears 

A gloved hand caressed my face 
Tempting me to fall into infinity 
Then he pressed his chilled lips to mine 
And I felt the silk of a coffin surround me. 



SMOKING SYNDROME 

Relaxing 

With a cigarette in my hand 
Turning my teeth yellow 
And my lungs black 

A world of fog 
Known as my room 
Bright lights are shining 
But they can barely see though 

I look forward to the day 
When I can turn on the fan, 
Open the windows, 
And walk away 

But until then, 

I'll relax with a cigarette in my hand 

Turning my teeth yellow 

And my lungs black 

Steev Custer 
ACCOMPANIMENT: KEY OF C IN THIRDS 

Every day at 3:45 she comes out of her office 
building, crosses the street, and enters her house, jusi 
two doors down from me. Every day at 3:45, I walk out 
onto my balcony and sit in the shade of my big yellow 
umbrella and watch her. I could study her for hours 
taking notes on her eyes, quizzing myself on the 
thoughts in her mind, experiment with what we would 
say if we ever met. 

At precisely 4:30, she comes out of her house 
and waits for the bus to come sweep her off to meet 
friends for a movie, or meet her boyfriend for a romantic 
dinner by candlelight. At 4:35, the bus comes, and I go 
inside to enjoy a nice cold shower. 

Once, a long time ago, I called her. When she 
answered the phone, however, I lost my courage and had 
to hang up before I said hello. I keep telling myself we 
will meet someday, but I know it's better this way. I 
would be too nervous and I would make her hate me, 
just like the rest of the world does. After my long, cold 
shower, I tuck myself into bed, for at the stroke of nine. 
she'll stroll by my window on her way to work. 



Wordeater 75 



25 



Spring, 1991 



Jameson Turner 



THE THREE-LEGGED JOURNEYMAN 

Up ihe down road 

Round the bend 

Goes ihe three legg'd journeyman 

Two feet solid on the path 

One foot wand 'ring in the grass 

Hup-two Hup-two pounds his senses 

Swims a river leaping fences 

Signs stars sun maps 

All the same 

On charted roads there is no gain 

Or so whispers his third leg 

Now where'd it go? 

Oh, back again 

So while the two march stead'ly on 

The third leg stops beside a pond 

The two perplexed, which road to choose? 

The third is climbing for a view 

Ant at the journey's end this man 

A traveller, weary, tho' but safe 

Rethinks the path he's trodden o'er 

Decides that of the distant shores 

He's seen in all his wand'ring days 

The third has seen the sweetest way 

He casts the two, wayside they fall 

Hops down the trail, and crying call 

The two forgotten in the bush 

And vain and unheard is their cry 

Until another happens by 

A traveller far from home is he 

With legs all spent, near life they be 

Spies in the bush the sorry pair 

Great day! Such fine legs lying there 

Gathers up the healthy limbs 

And walks, as if at first again 

Martin Nieznanski 

STRANGE 

It is strange 

How the world's trapped 

Inside the grains 

Of wood 

Come to life 

When you are captured 

By the vices 

Of boredom 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



Nicole L. Byrnside 

A RECIPE FOR WAR 

One cup of hatred 
A tablespoon of greed. 
Sift in some madness 
A pound of indifference. 

Also you will need: 

Your brother 
Your uncle 
Your father 
Your son 

and 
All the body bags 
You can get your hands on. 

Toss them all together 

and 
Flambe your results 

for a 
Smorgasbord of unlearned lessons. 

Maria Mellinger 

THE POETRY PRIZE 

Consonance is my cupid — 
He likes me, I'm lucky. 
He locks me in his arms 
And stabs an arrow of vowels 
Into my back. 

Assonance dances with me. 
He receives me in music deep 
And I flee reality 
In tap shoes. 

Alliteration always asks 
For another night 
And I answer 
"No, I must go," 

For rhyme is a wicked lover 
Pulling me away from the others. 



26 



Spring. 1991 






Judy Belfield 

SUMMATION 

When ihe last things 

are taken from my house 

I will walk barefoot across the 

dining room floor 

and hear its complaints. 

1 will know again 

the terrible thrum 

of wasted dancings 

from the beginning 

to this place; 

in between there were moments 

of joy 

my ignorance allowed — 

they have all dissolved. 

When the last things are 

wrenched from their places 

I will hear them gasp; 

I will be so sorry. 



Frank Sanchez 
THE MATTER OF ME 

Wanderlust rises, rages, scorches 

every atom of my being, 
consuming the obtainable moment 

No time left for dreams. 
Unknown shores seethe ceaselessly 

upon a barren Earth. 
Starry sky and choppy seas 

awaiting a new birth. 
My eyes rise to the skies 

wrought with the weight of tears, 
placed there by uncertainty, 

afflicted with timeless fears. 
A shadow of who I was 

with a figure of who I'll be, 
plead for an answer 

to settle the matter of me. 



Holly Bruns 

COCKTAIL PARTY CONVERSATIONS 

The Bullshit Elite Philharmonic, 
think polite conversation symphonic. 
Discussions are never laconic, 
They lull me to sleep like a tonic. 
But somehow I find it ironic, 
My attraction to them is quite chronic. 

Maria Mellinger 

MY LITTLE SAWDUST HEART 

My little sawdust heart 

Was tired, 

My coat threadbare, 

And I dreamed of a dress 

Like the nursery Magic Fairy's — 

A dress of pearl and dew drops 

With the power to warm me — 

But instead I awoke 

To your kiss, 

Sweet as the fruit from 

The raspberry thicket 

And Real as I wanted to be. 



Terry Rogers 

DREAM OUTBACK 

Wild dogs hunt — somewhere 
Red lizards click or hiss 
While crickets hold chorus. 

I have everything for awhile 
With God at my side. 
I'm thinking much clearer 
Keeping tempo with a stick. 

Mostly sandwiches that I've packed 
I'm sure that I can't hunt 
I even have some soda 
To offer up, like a kill. 

Sweat in the darkness 
I'm really quite surprised. 
It is very cold 
But I am very close now. 

Laying on my back 
Waiting for the times 

when the clouds part 
The stars to see, to let be. 



««««»»»» 



Wordeatcr 75 



27 



Spring. 199: 



Jeffrey Michael B 



Jeff DeGrave 



CREDO 
(CITIES IN DUST) 

ihe city was alive with light 

Innocent to the bustle within 

like an ignorant child at play, 

She breathed in and sighed. 

the city was built on a lake 

Feeding her night and day 

new in the garden. 

She swam out endlessly. 

her lights gleamed without end 

The city found many acquaintances 

tourism flourished and the economy burst 

Peace between races and sides. 

her crime was low — the youths occupied 

She had harmony 

this city was harmony 

And her insides delighted. 

but people grew careless 

The factories dumped 

her factories and peoples — waste 

The government found greed. 

the citizens met crime 

The green life forfeited for black metal 

her people overspent — wanted too much — 

Experienced all none responsibility. 

She was beautiful fro afar 

She was perfect from afar 

She was ugly and defiled inside 

She was dying and old inside. 

Everyone got a piece 

Everyone played her up 

She was stupid, tainted, 

And, still — innocent. 

But unpure and prostituted 

Exploited, tossed away 

But She is human, and 

I caused everything. 

Maria Mellinger 

I TRY TO REMEMBER OUR PAST 

I try to remember our past 
And fantasize our future 
But the present is a 
Spoiled little boy 
Pulling on my coat sleeve 
And begging for my love. 



MY FRIEND SEINE 

(WARNING: The following poem contains French 

pronunciations. Pronounce such words as follows: 

Seine="sen" 

Notre Dame="No truh Dom" 

femme="fom" 

Cite="see-tay" 

Louvre="Loov" 

I stare into space with my nose at the glass 
Hypnotically adrift in yesterday's past. 
My face at the window, like on that old DC -9 
Before I knew you from the Rhone or the Rhine. 
Do you think of me and remember when? 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine. 

When will I see you again? 

It's these silver rains that remind me of then. 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine... 

We first met at night just beyond Notre Dame 
When you waved me away from some Parisian femme. 
You flowed through Cite at your own prescribed pace 
Motionless for a moment so we'd meet face to face. 
Some two-odd years ago, it must have been... 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine 

When will I see you again? 

It's these silver rains that remind me of then. 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine. 

I'd lean on the bridge as the current would move — 
An impression in blue, you'd water-color the Louvre. 
You could do it all with only babbles for words. 
But the message you told me was like none that I'd heard. 
If only those hours we could suspend... 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine, 

When will I see you again? 

It's these silver rains that remind me of then. 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine. 

Thinking back how I slaved and saved five-thousand francs. 
The richest mem'ry of all was sitting freely on your banks. 
But today I sit and glare into this grey 
Believing tomorrow can repeat yesterday. 
Someday soon this rain will end... 

Goodbye, my friend. River Seine. 

Will you still be the same as you were back then? 

Maybe, someday, I can't say when. 

Hello, my friend. River Seine, 

Bonjour, mon ami, Fleuve Seine... 



« « « « » » » » 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



28 



Spring. 1991 



Bethany Jackson 

700 WAYS TO DIE 

Can't make it through any more 
A twisted word and a twisted soul 
Soundless cries drive me to the floor 
My heart is little more than an empty hole 

A void 1 though you could fill 
Break open my protective shell 
All you've done is take away my will 
Send me through 700 shades of hell 

Push away my smiles and tears 
I can't understand you 
Can't understand these horrible fears 
What is left to do? 

Open my veins to the night 
Give you my sorrows to pine 
Because I have no desire to fight 
This depressive coat of mine 

Maria Mellinger 

MY YOUNG FRIEND 

My young friend turned to me in awe. 

"You have an alleyT he asked, 

So full of wonder that yesterday's neighborhoods 

Are being lived in today; that they are not 

A yellowed photo secured in an ancient album 

With pieces of crackling tape. 

At only 20, I pity the young 

For their lack of backyard jungles and 

Front porch dungeons and someone's 

Great Grandmother's name scratched into the 

Hard wood floors of a corner bedroom. 

David Tieman 

UNTITLED 

Southern Kansas in the midst of June 
A little boy is tired of feeling blue 
He's got a knife in his pocket 
And a gun in his hand 
Sick of living in a place 
He doesn' t understand 



Dawn Mooney 

ISN'T IT STRANGE? 

Isn't it strange 

How one tiny, insignificant event 
Can ruin your entire day? 
Or how one wrong word 
Can send your spirits 
Spiraling downward 
Or how the taunting voice 
Of a busy signal 

Can drive you to frustrated insanity 
(Or is it just an insane frustration?) 
Isn't it strange 

How I want to hit my head against the wall 
And scream obscenities 
And throw heavy objects 
But all I do is isolate myself 
And write a poem. 

(Maybe I should try throwing things.) 
« « « « » » » » 

Holly Bruns 

WINTER BLAHS 

Roadside snow, slushy and grey, 

Melting onto surface where I walk. 

Seeping through the leather of my shoes, 

Channeling through the pores of my skin, 

Merging with my blood through osmosis, then 

Uniting with my soul. 

I should have worn galoshes. 

« « « « » » » » 

Donica Rampa 

GONE 

They say when love dies 
you cry a thousand rivers 
as if there were no tomorrow. 
They say your heart is broken 
as you drown in deepest sorrow. 

They say there is an emptiness, 
a cavern in your soul — 
Your heart is full of loneliness — 
a dark and empty hole. 

But as he walks away from me, 
as dusk turns into dawn — 
I have no tears to cry for him — 
Only glad that he is gone. 



Wordeaicr 75 



29 



Spring. '.90! 



Martin Nieznanski 
BRAINWASHED 



My cortex was unraveled and 
Given to scurrying hands that 
Held styluses 

Used tor rewriting the epic of 
My personality on my 
Unwound frayed brain. 

Terry Rogers 

SEPTEMBER 1988 

On the silent wings of love 

Where we challenge the challenge of being one 

Scorned by the being of everyone 

Helpless to the bittersweet taste of idle time 

On the silent wings of love 
We reach with paralyzed motion — 
Only to watch talk take all command 
Afraid to say "goodbye" to youth 
We scamper to pick up pieces of puzzles 
that deserve no completions. 

On the silent wings of love 
We hold on for the ride 
Too timid and mindless 
To fly our own course 

On the thunderous wings of love 
We hold our ears and close our eyes — 
Too afraid of the beauty of it all 

"■> ■ Jeff Hicks 

CHILD'S PLAY 

To taste the air of a distant realm 
To explore the mysteries of your own backyard 
To make a marble into a crystal ball 
To fly in space 
Or hide in your fort 
of sofa cushions 
Using the ideas of a five year old 
Reality is nothing more than child's play. 

Wordeater 75 



Tina M. Plunk 
GOING EAST ON INTERSTATE 80 

Going east on Interstate 80 

only a few miles more to my exit 

where I get off 

to go home. 
I miss your laugh 

and how your smile warms me. 
How I want to keep going on to you. 

It would only take 

a couple of hours. 

Long hours I know... 

But I turn south and head home. 
Walk in the door 
and feel so wrong. 
"Where have you been?" 
He asks roughly 

I begin to cry 
My heart is still going east 

on Interstate 80. 

Maria Mellinger 

SOMEWHERE OFF OF COUNTY LINE 
ROAD 

Although we're supposed to be adults 

And face this relationship in 

Stuffy established time honored ways, 

I'm having more fun parking 

Where the prom queens hide 

And kissing through my Saturdays. 

Holly Bruns 

HIDDEN IN A PLASTIC GROOVE 

Spin the record. 

Let it play out the recalled pieces of my past. 

Each song connected to something I once could touch. 

History pulled from sound. 

Floating bits of who I was, 

all the stages of my life. 

Invisibly cut into grooves of plastic. 

I'm found again, 

under the pressure of a needle, 

with a diamond tip. 



««««»»»» 



30 



Spring, 1991 



Enc Jensen 



Jeff Hicks 



A SOLITARY SHADOW 

Angel of the night 
Teases me with light 
Calls me to her side 
To vanish from my sight 

Hides beneath the day 
Leads me far away 
Shows me where to hide 
Needs not a word to say 

She sails by too fast 
One shadow to cast 
Whispers she's my bride 
And captures my past 

Chris Derrick 

I STILL BELIEVE 

I do not believe in a Supreme Being 

I misplaced that last night 

I do not believe our leaders are right 

I have seen too much corruption 

I do not believe our future is bright 

I have seen too much destruction 

I do not believe that good always wins 

I have seen it fail quite often 

I just believe that I must do 

What I believe that I must do 

What I believe is right and true 

In spite of how some others act 

I still believe that that is fact 

Dawn Mooney 

MEMENTOS LEFT ASTRAY 

Momentos left astray 

Ardfacts from 

Someone else's museum 

Now remind me 

Of events 

And emotions 

Long over 

Yet I hold onto 

My collection of the past 



TECHNICOLOR SILENCE 

In my arms 
You fell asleep 
And all I could do 

was look at your face 
In it I see rest 

I see your dreams coming alive 
In vivid color 

in my mind 
Red, 
Yellow, 
Blue, 
Green, 
I brush the hair 

from your closed eyes 
I feel the softness of your skin 
You roll over 
You reach over 

and pull yourself closer 
I feel your warmth 
I lean back and close my eyes 
And slowly join you in your technicolor dreams. 

Steev Custer 

PUNK ROCK LOVE POEM OR 
MORRISSEY SINGS THE BLUES 

I'm wondering where you are as I carve your initials 
into the silky flesh just below the base of my left hand. 

The Smiths record you brought me whispers to me 
as I sit in the darkness of my basement room, wondering 
if you are mourning the loss of this magnificent love 
too. 

Shortly after you left me, I dressed myself in black 
from head to to and lit candles in remembrance of the 
wonderful times we spent together, stealing tapes from 
the record store, swearing at old people at the mall, and 
shaving our heads to show the world our love for each 
other. As I recall all these acts of passion, I suddenly 
realize that we had a stronger love than even I 
understood 

Now I'll take myself off to bed, for tomorrow I'll 
dress in black again, and walk past your house to try and 
catch a glimpse of you, or maybe I'll follow you to 
work or to your friends' houses to see how many times 
you notice me, and give me a speech on how immature I 
am. GOD, I LOVE YOU. 



««««»»»» 



««««»»»» 



Wordeater 75 



31 



Spring. 1991 



Jeff DcGrave 



David Tieman 



THERE'S THAT BIG, BLACK TRUNK 

There's that big, black trunk 

that sits in the corner of my closet. 

It probably knows more about me than I do. 

It hides those high school days, 

The days of my first apartment 

And the days of reckless abandon since. 

I'd love to open it 

and listen to those stories 

all over again, 

But someone might be listening... 

Maria Mellinger 

YOU WERE SUCH A PRETTY BOY 

You were such a pretty boy 
With your closed eyes and your 
Dancing body that never left the 
Chair in the corner of the bar. 
Jazz kissed your forehead 
Like the girl you could never have 
And sweet cigarettes held your hand. 
Draft beer eased you into dreams 
AS you eased your too young body 
Into the bed in your parents' home, 
Imagining the day when you 
Would see icebergs and whales 
Swimming between Alaska and Russia 
And kiss the cold air above the ocean, 
Brushing away the grime of our little town 
That nighdy touches your lips. 

Steev Custer 
IF I COULD ONLY SAY HELLO 

If I could only just say hello 

If I could only just walk up to her and tell her how I 
feel, than maybe I wouldn't be so hollow on the inside. 

She would be everything in the universe. She 
would be everything I've always wanted everything to 
be. She would be the echo of my screams, the answer to 
my questions, the shaft of light from which the universe 
revolves. 

If I could only say hello. 

Wordeaier 75 32 



LOTTERY LOSER 

In the mist 

That fell 

From the sky 

Glittering 

In the presence of a streetlight 

Like raindrops 

Only softer 

And less outspoken, 

A long-haired man 

Carrying the losing ticket 

Of a recent Vietnamese lottery 

Walked in silence 

And darkness 

Down a bumpy path 

Which was created 

For only the single shining eye 

Of a train 

To see. 

Donica Ram pa 

BUBBLE-GUM PINK 

Bubble-gum pink and candy hearts, 
Laughter rippling like a stream, 
Melodic voices stop and start, 
Content to sit and dream. 
Up and down with ebbs of emotion 
like the glittering waves of a golden ocean. 
A glance, a grin, a silly giggle — 
laughter carefree, like a puppy's wiggle. 
Reds and purples and baby blues, 
colors bursting in joyful hues. 
A snicker, snort, chuckle, wink — 
Candy hearts and bubble-gum pink. 

Maria Mellinger 

HE LOADED UP HIS SIX GUNS 

He loaded up his six guns 
Packed a metaphor a minute, 
Gave me a simile — 
or was it a smile? — 
Rapid fired images into the air 
And named one after me. 



««««»»»» 



Spring. 1991 



Martin Nieznanski 



Dawn Simmons 



THE DREAM CATCHER 

The wicked thoughts that lurk behind my eyes 

Sometimes 

While I sleep 

Become ensnared in its spider-like web 

And, as a black stone, climbs downward 

Where it falls off a feather 

As a silver drop of morning 

David Tieman 



DEAR ABBY 

Dear Abby, 

I have been happily married to "Bo" for five years. 
However, I am in love with his best friend's sister's third 
cousin's dentist's niece's prom date's neighbor. 

We secretly call each other at work once a week, and 
we only see each other once every six months at the best 
friend's sister's third cousin's dentist's office. 

Abby, I thought for sure that we would never be 
found out, but I was wrong. What should I do? 

Signed 
"Bo" Knows 



I 

was awake for days 

worrying, 

torturing myself to find an answer 

that I thought was lost 

Now 

I rest 

quietly, calmly 

with my eyes closed 

enjoying the dreams 

that I have created 

David Tieman 

THE CANDY STORE 

Sweet and sticky 

Sexual candy 

An assortment of flavors to choose from 

Tempting, tasty 

Hot and spicy 

An extravaganza of taste on your tongue 

So many sizes 

So many shapes 

I believe I have fallen in love 

With 

Suckers and lollipops 

Rock candy, lemon drops 

And the infamous everlasting gum. 



Dear "Bo," 
Just do it! 



««««»»»» 



Eric Jensen 



INWARD FORMLESSNESS 



I have a shape 
I have a name 
I have a face 
To hide my brain 

I see the world 
I feel the cold 
Raised to know 
I'll soon grow old 

I need to find 
A place inside 
To give me time 
And lead the ride 



« « « « » » » » 



Maria Mellinger 

HE COUGHED UP INTELLIGENCE 

He coughed up intelligence 
Choked on laughter 
Tripped on his ego 
And fell to the floor. 
We all noticed 
But didn't move to help him 
Because we enjoyed the 
Idiotic silence 
So much more. 



Wordeater 75 



33 



Spring, 1991 



Jeffrev Michael B 



Donica Rampa 
COLD FIRE 



BEKRIVES (Selected Verses) 

IX 

Edge my knife 

With the colors and visions 

Of bursting seashells 

Of forgotten shores 

An opening — yes! — 

An opening of wings 

Take flight into the sightless beauty 

Of scales and more 

Of ornate headdress 

(Like the peacock, it sings) 

Show us your splendor — 

Edge my knife 

xn 

Do I see Heaven or Earth 

Above me? 
Is Hell, my penitence served? 
I want to ascend the bedrock — 

My cell — (to feel the winds of life again!) 
Although I cannot feel, 
I see this light; 
This heat 

Amazed and puzzled 
I await my fate • 

XV 

This house on water 

Floats silently through the night 

Under the whole of the moon. 
And is suspended for eternity 
And is suspended for all to see 
Save for the dying grace of thee 

xxn 

Of a thousand roses 

She makes her soul 

Whirling through the air 

Like the dust. 

And her train behind — 

Banners and ribbons. 

In this empty room 

She is married to the sunlight 

xxm 

I long to meet her lips with mine 
But the ice that she is made of 
Quietly folds over — and all that remains 
Is her shadow glistening with frost. 
« « ««»»»» 



The flame within me rises, 
like an ocean swell, 
the heat is like to drown me — 
I know it, know it well. 

'Tis like a demon's hellfire 
or Neptune's icy fish. 
Like lava, hot and flowing, 
through an ocean mist. 

To move and ebb in nature 
Ride waves and walk through Fires. 
Tumbling with every riptide, 
flaring with that of pyres. 

This is life, and I am living, 
savoring each moment. 
A scorching wave or cool wet flame — 
glad that I have known it. 

« « « « » » » » 

Dawn Simmons 

RED LEAF 

We spent that Autumn together 

with colorful laughter 

and smiles 

that glowed with the setting sun 

and the rising moon 

and became camouflaged 

into the leaves 

that danced circles 

around our icy cold feet. 

And one year later 

the sight of a single 

red leaf 

shivering on the pavement 

brings back 

every enchanting memory 

that I was sure I had 

forgotten. 

« « « « » » » » 

Steev Custer 

CALAMITY 

Sam had always told me to call him when the thoughts 
came, or when I was scared, but my parents couldn't afford to 
pay him right now, so I just decided to stay right where I 
was. After all, I thought, I'd been here when I lost my first 

(continued) 



Wordeater 75 



34 



Spnng, 1991 



Calamity, continued 



David Tieman 



love, I've been here when I was too sick to leave the 
house, and I had been here for all the other major 
catastrophes that seemed to plague my incredibly 
unnatural life. 

Oftentimes I lay here and think that, when the good 
times are so few and far between, my blankets will 
protect me from the atrocious episodes which seem to 
contaminate my existence. I sometimes wonder if my 
pillow absorbs my each and every tear and incorporates 
them into its comfort and reassurance. I suspect that one 
day I'll waken here in my bed, and find myself incapable 
of leaving its security and warmth. Maybe, just maybe, 
that day is Today. 



Holly Bruns 

SYNTHETIC TOMB 

I want order. 

I demand order. 

No more chaos. 

Just order. 

I must straighten, 

and organize, 

and wipe away the dust. 

Make it clean. 
Everything in its place. 
Wrap it in cellophane, quick, 
before the dust has time to return. 

Draw the blinds, just so. 

Keep the sun off the fabric. 

Keep my life hidden indoors. 

If you draw the blinds just so. 

Neighbors and friends looking in 

Will see only the bare white ceiling. 

Clean. 

White. 

Straighten the portraits on the wall. 

Lopsided portraits are intolerable. 

Straighten them carefully. 

I don't want fingerprints, 

on the portraits, 

or the gilded frames and glass 

encasing them. 

Give me 
clean white 
order. 

« « « « » » » » 

Wordeater 75 



SHE'S GOT THE BLUES 

I saw her standin' in the neon lights 

on the comer by the liquor store 
Not a dime in the bottom of her blue jean pockets 

and a child waitin' to be bom 

Underneath her worn and faded jacket 

lie a botde from the night before 
It was filled to the top with memories 

of love that was shattered and torn 

She's got the blues 

Livin' in and out of doorways 

she never had a place called home 
Fell asleep under the stars at night 

so she never was really alone 

But sometimes she's lie and wonder 

if there was a place where dreams come true 

Just a date with a botde of Southern Comfort 
and her best friends, Rhythm and Blues 

I saw her standin' in the neon lights 

on the corner by the liquor store 
Not a dime in the bottom of her blue jean pockets 

she felt she could live no more 

Holly Bruns 

AM I ERSATZ DRAGON, OR IS IT YOU? 

You are someone I've come to know. 

That quasi-confident, sanguine laugh, 

Those pseudo-intellect, hollow phrases, 

I once thought funny and powerful, 

Are nothing more than a smoke screen 

Blown out through your mouth and nose 

Without passion or heat. 

A cool, smoky, audible fear 

Of my honest probing of who you are. 

Deep inside. 

A simple dragon looming large. 

Without his flaming breath, 

To face the sword of truth. 

Just smoke, 

To choke, 

And make my eyes water. 



««««»»»» 



35 



Spring, 1991 



Eric Jensen 



Holly Bruns 

LITTLE BROWN BABY 

I held a little brown baby today; 

A clinging, brown-eyed, little brown baby, today. 

He pulled his brown-baby arms around my neck 

and held on tight. 
He laid his beautiful bristly head on my shoulder 

close to my neck, 
Where my heartbeat could be measured by touch. 
He held on to me like my own babies never did. 
I loved that baby at once. 
I loved the smell of him. 

Loved him in a way I never loved my own babies. 
We held each other tight, 
And interlaced our souls for only minutes, but 
I became brown in those minutes. 
I was one with that baby. 
He didn't seem to mind my pinkness. 
Our souls danced in a color of their own. 
An hour later, when the baby was gone, my soul still 

felt the brownness wrapping tightly around it. 
Fusing with pink. 
My soul is no longer pink. 
I loved that little brown baby today. 

David Tieman 

BUBBLES 

I was inside a bubble 

For weeks 

Formed by a child 

With a bottle of soapy water 

Who loved to chase them 

And 

Pop them 

But 

He could not reach the one that surrounded me 

And 

I was caught by the wind 

Only realizing today 

That I possess a pin 



UNCONSCIOUS TOMORROW 

A lie that began as a promise, 
Hangs heavily in our minds, 
A time that began as a vision, 
Reminds us of the signs. 

The thought of a world without life, 

Like the thought of space without time, 
The shadow that wanders our future, 
Blocked out by a sun that won't shine. 

Steev Custer 
I REMEMBER HOME... 

"Do you remember when, not long ago? 

It was a place where all the kids could go. 

It was the place that got us our start, and the sound 

still rings in our ears and in our hearts. 

Thanks to everyone who saw and felt and cared, it's 
the end now, still I'm glad I was there..." 

Fractured Adolescents 

I remember Home, with its seemingly magical disco 
lights mat held hands and danced with us over checker board 
tiled floors. 

The music screamed out of gargantuan speaker columns 
at 150,000 decibels, uniting us in hatred for the outside 
world. 

I remember all the friends that lied, and that most of 
cried at least once, and some of us even more. 

Most of all, I remember people that said, "You guys 
sound really good," even when we sounded like shit. 

But other than the friends and enemies, music and good 
times, I know I'll always remember everything, because I 
remember Home. 

« « « « » » » » 

JeffDeGrave 

WHY WOULD A MAN CLIMB A 
MOUNTAIN? 

Why would a man climb a mountain? 

Because it is there. 

Why would a man walk a straight line? 

Because he has to. 

Why would a man listen to a woman? 

Because she is there, telling him he has to... 



Wordcaier 75 



36 



Spring, 1991 



Jeff Hicks 

DANCE 

Paint your land with watcrcolors 
Dabble in the oils to paint your skies 
Dust the wind the tint of your skin 
Cleanse the open boundaries with your eyes 

Show me the distance 
Show me the way 
Stopping nighttime 
Day after day 

Give me a hint of friendship 
And I'll give you all respect 
Always working way too hard 
Something there to always fret 

In your hand you hold my heart 
Do with it what you may 
The harder you hold on to it 
The longer that I'll stay 

Dance the dance of running water 

Wear the shoes of an older man 

I'll teach you the steps of the running water 

Any way that I possibly can 

You tell the clouds to go away 
Hoping the dreaming just might last 
You feel the wind running past your face 
Gaining speed, don't move too fast 

I wish your future 
I know your past 
It doesn't matter 
It's the dreams that last 

So paint your color picture 
Dabble in the blue 
Please remember me 
For I'll always remember you 



Bethany Jackson 

ALONE WITH HIM (THE BLACK ROSE) 

Licking sugar from his fingertips he bids me to follow 

His heart and his step are hollow 

As he wanders into a path overgrown with brown grass 

It is difficult for me to pass 

The temptation of the twilight and of him 

Of the weeds and growth that beg for a trim 

Catching an air of his sweetness ahead 

I allow myself to be led 

Into the stench of a decaying thick 

I see a black rose I desire to pick 

Afraid of the thoms and of losing my guide 

I leave the flower and step aside 

To where I last glimpsed his romanuc cape 

But I fear I've lost sight of his lanky shape 

Dressed in black like the rose 

Then a euphoric scent tempts my nose 

He is not far from me 

His form stands beyond a willow tree 

Afraid of the thoms and of losing my guide 

Gingerly I step away and try to hide 



David Tieman 



NOTHING 

No walls 

No life 

No evermore 

No place to wander 

No peace or war 

Just nothing, but nothing, but nothing 

No worries 

No pressures 

Of what we must be 

No one to look up to 

Or recoil in envy 

Just nothing, but nothing, but nothing 

I know something you don't know 
Can't help flaunting a grin 
It doesn't exist 
But no one knows 
I know the way in... 



Wordeater 75 



37 



Spring, 1991 



o 



• ) 




Ooucr Touioft. Cs^S.